NM man arrested in connection with 2016 armed robbery in Wichita Falls

NM man arrested in connection with 2016 armed robbery in Wichita Falls
Benito Chavez, Jr., 20, has been arrested and charged in connection with an aggravated robbery in 2016 on Monroe Street in Wichita Falls. (Source: WCSO)

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - A New Mexico man has been booked into the Wichita Co. Jail and charged with one count of Aggravated Robbery in connection with an incident on March 23, 2016.

Benito Chavez, Jr., 20, was arrested on Tuesday and at the time this article was published he remained behind bars on a $750,000 bond. According to his arrest affidavit, around 9:45 a.m. on March 23, 2016, three Hispanic men, dressed in dark clothing, came into a home in the 2200 block of Monroe Street without permission.

One of the victims said two of the suspects were armed with handguns and they were demanding property. The suspects took off with cash, a gold chain, and a backpack with marijuana inside before running out of the house.

The victim and a neighbor hopped in a vehicle and chased the suspects until they lost sight of them. The victim admitted to exchanging gunfire with the suspects during the chase. All of the victims were interviewed by police and two said the recognized one of the suspects as a former neighbor.

Detectives determined the former neighbor was Enrique Torres. While reviewing Torres' social media accounts, detectives identified an associate that matched the description of one of the other suspects.

It was determined the associate was Benito Chavez, Jr., 20. Chavez lives in New Mexico but photos of him in Wichita Falls were posted to his social media, according to WFPD. Several photo lineups with a photo of Chavez and Torres with other men with similar appearance were shown to the victims.

Both were positively identified by the victim who gave chase to the suspects. Chavez was later found and interviewed by WFPD. Detectives said he first denied involvement in the robbery but nodded his head when he was told he and Torres had been identified as two of the three suspects.

At that time, Chavez ended the interview and indicated he wanted to know what Torres had told police before he would confess. A buccal swab was taken from Chavez to be used during DNA analysis of evidence that was found during the investigation.

Attempts to find Torres were unsuccessful. The DNA collected from Chavez was sent to the DPS Crime Lab in Garland. A report from the lab revealed Chavez’s DNA was identified in articles of the suspect clothing collected on the day of the aggravated robbery.

An aggravated arrest warrant was issued on September 18, 2018, for Chavez. He was booked into the Wichita Co. Jail on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma. All rights reserved.