This image provided Wednesday by the Cochise County Sheriff's Department shows Alejandro Chavez-Vasquez, who has been identified as a person of interest in several burglaries near Portal. Arizona Daily Star

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office is looking for a person of interest in several burglaries this year in the Portal area in southeastern Arizona.

It is looking for Alejandro Chavez-Vasquez, who has given authorities various birth dates and lives in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Officials say he has a criminal history with convictions that include sex crimes, auto theft and being in and returning the the U.S. after being deported, according to a news release.

The news release doesn't identify Chavez-Vasquez as a person of interest in the killing of longtime rancher Robert Krentz on March 27, but a news release of this type is unusual for the department, and the Portal area is just north of where Krentz was found dead on his ranch.

Chavez-Vasquez is currently only a person of interest in the burglaries.

But Cochise County Sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said she didn't dismiss the possibility that Chavez-Vasquez could provide useful information in the Krentz investigation. "It would depend on what he would be able to tell us about other burglaries or other open cases we have," Capas said.

As of now, there are no suspects or persons of interest in the Krentz case, she said.

Krentz was found shot and killed on his ATV on his ranch, about 25 miles northeast of Douglas.

Investigators don't know who shot him, but they followed a single set of tracks back to Mexico, fueling speculation that the killer was an illegal immigrant or smuggler.

During a Senate hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said investigators have reason to believe the shooter was a scout for a drug-smuggling organization.

At a March 29 news conference, Dever said there was another incident in the area involving a gun within 24 hours of the shooting that could be connected to the Krentz case. He would not elaborate.

Anyone with information about Chavez-Vasquez is asked to call the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at 520-432-9500 or 1-800-362-0812.

Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or