Police: Man broke into store, took cigarettes, left $6

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 2, 2016 at 1:32 PM

LAS CRUCES, N.M., March 2 (UPI) -- Police in New Mexico said a suspected drunken intruder kicked his way into a closed convenience store, took a pack of cigarettes and left $6 on the counter.

The Las Cruces Police Department said in a Facebook post Ellis Battista, 24, and another man knocked on the locked door of Bradley's convenience store about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, but the store, which is usually opened 24 hours a day, was closed.

Detectives said Battista eventually kicked the door's lower panel until it broke, giving him access to the store.

Battista took a pack of cigarettes from inside the store and left $6, which police said he deliberately held up in front of a security camera to ensure he was being recorded paying for the smokes.

Police said a witness called 911 and Battista was arrested nearby the store.

Damage to the front door at Bradley's was estimated at $800.

"Detectives noted that Walgreen's, which is open 24-hours a day and also sells cigarettes, is the business immediately north of Bradley's," police wrote on Facebook.

Battista was arrested on a felony charge of breaking and entering. The other man, who remained outside of the store, was not arrested.

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