Two accused of robbery at Cruces Dillard’s

Las Cruces Police Department

Dolores Ontiveros

Richard Serna

Las Cruces Police arrested a couple who are suspected of stealing merchandise from a department store in the Mesilla Valley Mall and assaulting a security officer as they attempted to escape.

Dolores T. Ontiveros, 35, and Richard A. Serna, 26, are charged with one count each of armed robbery, a third-degree felony.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, police were called to the Dillard’s department store at the Mesilla Valley Mall where an employee allegedly saw a woman, later identified as Ontiveros, conceal two pair of jeans in her purse and attempt to leave without paying for the merchandise.

The loss prevention officer tried to stop Ontiveros, but she continued walking out the store. The officer then grabbed the woman’s purse to prevent her from leaving and a struggle ensued. A man, identified as Serna, then allegedly approached and assaulted the loss prevention officer.

Another Dillard’s employee and a mall security guard became aware of the incident and confronted the couple but Serna indicated that he was carrying a weapon and would use it to escape, police said.

The employees allowed Ontiveros and Serna to leave the store but followed them across two busy streets to the Target store at Lohman Avenue and Telshor Boulevard. Las Cruces Police officers located Ontiveros and Serna inside the Target store where they were detained.

Detectives said Serna was carrying a box cutter knife in his pocket.

Upon learning her identity, police discovered that Ontiveros allegedly had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She was booked into the Doña Ana County jail with bond set at $6,000. Serna was being held on a $5,000 bond.

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