LCFD says man set two cars on fire downtown before arrest

Justin Garcia
Las Cruces Sun-News
Police arrested a man accused of setting two parked cars on fire Wednesday afternoon.

LAS CRUCES - Police arrested a man accused of setting two parked cars on fire Wednesday afternoon. 

Samuel Cabrales-Nevarez, 49, was arrested and charged with two felony counts of arson and one petty misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property. 

According to an affidavit filed by a Las Cruces Fire Department investigator, a woman driving along South Main Street noticed a man standing next to two burning cars in the Firestone Auto Care store. The woman told police that the man noticed her, flipped her off, and left the area. 

The woman then called 911 and followed the man as he moved towards South Campo Street. Police then arrived on the scene and discovered Cabrales-Nevarez, who they said matched a description provided by the woman. When police arrested Cabrales-Nevarez, they said he dropped three lighters. 

Court records show that Cabrales-Nevarez was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center around 1:30 p.m on Wednesday. He was granted a surety bond of $1,000, meaning that he would have to pay 10% of that to get out of jail. Jail records show that Cabrales-Nevarez remained detained as of the publication of this article. 

Cabrales-Nevarez was charged with arson in January but those charges were dismissed by prosecutors in March. In that case, police accused Cabrales-Nevarez of setting another car on fire. 

Justin Garcia is a public safety reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News. He can be reached at

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