The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Couple facing fire, robbery allegations


February 26, 2020

CLOVIS — A Clovis couple is facing allegations they set a structure fire on Valentine’s Day to cover up a jewelry robbery.

Daniel Aranda, 53, was booked into the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Sunday. He entered no plea Monday in Curry County Magistrate Court to non-residential burglary, conspiracy to commit non-residential burglary, larceny and tampering with evidence.

Tamara Aranda, 58, remained at large as of Tuesday morning. A warrant was issued for her with the same charges in connection to the fire on the 1700 block of South Prince Street.

Although court documents state investigators suspect the two started the fire to cover up their thefts, they currently face no charges in connection with the blaze.

Daniel Aranda was granted a $3,000 appearance bond by Magistrate Judge Shaun Burns. He has a preliminary examination scheduled for 9 a.m. March 5 in magistrate court. No attorney is listed for him in court records.

According to arrest warrant affidavits filed Friday:

• An employee of the commercial building was escorted into the building following the fire. He said it appeared various jewelry was missing from inside the building, but a large coin collection was still there.

• Investigators with the state fire marshal’s office interviewed Daniel Aranda, who initially said he had no jewelry belonging to the business but suddenly handed over a piece of jewelry that was in his pocket.

• Tamara Aranda arrived on scene later, denied any wrongdoing and asked for an attorney. The two left the scene as they were not detained.

• Upon execution of a search warrant for the house, investigators found various pieces of jewelry and had reason to believe Tamara Aranda left with diamonds and gold rings stashed in her vehicle.

• The building’s owner reported that Daniel Aranda sent him a text message admitting to taking jewelry, but only after the building was burned down. The fire marshal’s office investigator doubted the claim, since there was no observable soot or fire damage to the bagged jewelry items found.


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