Suspect in Walgreens liquor theft to remain behind bars until trial
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A video showed four men inside an Albuquerque Walgreens, stuffing backpacks full of liquor, and then just walking out. Three suspects were arrested.
One of them, Joshua Peralto, faced a judge by video Monday. Prosecutors wanted him held in jail until trial.
“There were three incidents your honor, and they were taking high-value alcohol through their backpacks and exiting the store,” said Victor Sanchez, a prosecutor.
Peralto is one of three men arrested and charged under the state’s new organized retail crime law. It allows prosecutors to combine the value of items stolen on multiple occasions to make a more serious charge.
Nathan Castillo and Brian Singer were also arrested and charged in the shoplifting spree. Prosecutors say they were stealing the alcohol to sell.
Castillo is being held in jail. Singer was released.
On Monday, prosecutors asked a judge to hold Peralto. His defense pushed for his release saying GPS monitoring could ensure he follows the conditions of release.
“Mr. Peralto is not accused of making any violent acts, he’s not even accused of committing threats of any violence, his history shows a lack of violence on his part,” said Roberta Yurcic, a defense attorney.
Prosecutors argued while the charged crime isn’t violent, it’s still harmful.
“We believe that this shows a danger if the defendant is released and his willingness to continue to commit new crimes of specifically shoplifting at these stores,” said Sanchez.
Second Judicial District Judge Brett Loveless agreed Peralto is a danger.
“I can imagine that people would not want to go back to that store because there’s not a feeling of safety, who knows what’s going to happen?” said Loveless. “Who knows what these folks are doing and what they’re capable of doing?”
The judge said GPS just wouldn’t cut it.
“If I were to put him on GPS, he could easily cut that off. He even could, actually, I can’t bar him from every commercial establishment in the City of Albuquerque, he has to go somewhere to eat, to buy things. But any store that has a belonging is at risk of having things lifted,” said Loveless.
For these reasons, Loveless ruled that Peralto will stay in jail.
On the afternoon of July 17, police found Singer with a gunshot wound while responding to a shooting in the area of Kentucky and Acoma in southeast Albuquerque.
Paramedics took Singer to the hospital. Doctors put him on life support July 26. He died nine days later.
- Video shows thieves steal liquor from Walgreens in NE Albuquerque
- Albuquerque police arrest 3 men charged with stealing liquor