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Man accused of burglarizing Big R store in Farmington
Suspect has five pending cases in Aztec District Court
FARMINGTON — New charges have been filed against a Bloomfield man accused of multiple property crimes, including burglarizing a Farmington ranch and farm supply store and stealing more than $2,500 in items.
John Heath, 43, is accused of three charges including non-residential burglary, larceny (over $2,500 but not more than $20,000) and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle (second offense), according to court records.
There are five pending cases in Aztec District Court against Heath on charges including three counts of burglary, larceny and criminal damage to property.
He has 14 felony convictions, according to a search of the New Mexico Corrections Department's website.
Heath is accused of burglarizing the Big R Store at 908 E. Main St. in Farmington on or around Oct. 30 and 31st and stealing multiple items. They include a miniature dirt bike, tool boxes, pellet grills and a flatbed trailer to transport the stolen goods, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Sarah Field, Heath's public defender, declined comment.
Employees at Big R called police on Oct. 31 and said an unknown person entered a fenced yard belonging to the business and stole a five-foot by an eight-foot flatbed trailer and loaded it up with merchandise valued more than $2,500, but not more than $20,000.
A Big R employee viewed the security footage and believed the white SUV in the footage belonged to Heath, according to court documents. The footage viewed was from 9:01 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 12:46 a.m. on Oct. 31.
The footage showed a person loading a flat-bed trailer with large store merchandise.
It also depicts a person dismantling a gate, driving a white SUV into the fenced-in area and attaching the trailer to the SUV.
The footage continued to show the SUV driving off the fenced lot and the robber reassembling the gate.
Investigators found that a hole was cut into chain link.
Most of the stolen property was found by San Juan County Sheriff's Office detectives at a home on County Road 3184 in the Crouch Mesa area, according to court documents.
The homeowner told detectives that Heath dropped off a trailer full of property on Nov. 1. The property belonging to Big R was returned to the business.
Detectives for the sheriff's office obtained maps of Heath's GPS monitoring device for the night of Oct. 30th and 31st, showing him inside the fenced yard, inside two structures on the lot and where the cut in the fence was found.
Heath is also accused of two other burglaries while wearing his GPS ankle monitor.
While in custody on Nov. 3, Heath declined to speak to detectives.
Heath is being held on a no-bond hold pending trial at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center. He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Four of Heath's cases are set for a one-day trial on May 23 in front of Chief District Judge Karen Townsend in Aztec District Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.