Man is 'person of interest' in burglaries near where Cochise County rancher killed

2010-04-21T13:31:00Z Man is 'person of interest' in burglaries near where Cochise County rancher killedBy Brady McCombs Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 21, 2010 1:31 pm  • 

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a person of interest in connection with several burglaries that took place this year in the Portal area in Southeastern Arizona.

They are 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 an  aggravated deported illegal immigrant, according to a news release from the department..

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

Cochise County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas said he is currently only a person of interest in the burglaries but 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,” she 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 located about 25 miles northeast of Douglas in the late night of March 27. 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 drug smuggling scout.

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

At a March 29 press conference, Sheriff Larry Dever said here was another incident within 24 hours of the shooting that could be connected involving a gun, but 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.

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