The Roswell Police Department arrested two people Friday on charges of theft of services. The RPD had received several reports last week regarding an illegal power tap in the 1700 block of North Michigan Avenue. Officer Neil Binderman contacted an engineer from Xcel Energy who verified someone had repaired an illegal power tap. The engineer noted it was the fourth occurrence at the [auth] residence that week.
The suspects were Matthew Artiaga, 30, and Ashley Griffin, 23. Artiaga and Griffin were arrested for stealing electricity. Officers then discovered Artiaga and Griffin had parole violations.
Artiaga had a warrant for his arrest in reference to a parole violation on previous charges of threatening a witness. Artiaga’s bond was $25,000 regarding his parole violation and $5,000 surety for his charges of theft of services, conspiracy and criminal damage.
Griffin had been arrested previously and charged for numerous counts of forgery, one fraud and receiving stolen property. She currently has no bond in regards to her parole violation and a $5,000 surety bond for falsely obtaining services, criminal damage and conspiracy.
According to the RPD, the couple damaged the residence when they hooked up the electricity.
Wes Reeves, media relations for Xcel Energy, explained the risk. “According to our investigator this is one of the most dangerous situations we deal with in terms of electrical shock and fire safety. The person could be hurt or even killed.”
Artiaga and Griffin are being held at the Chaves County Detention Center.