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Cops say they followed evidence to suspect

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By David Giuliani

An alleged burglar left a trail of evidence last week — literally.

City police said footprints in the snow led them to a suspect in a number of break-ins in an eastside neighborhood.

Christopher Lopez, 19, 1010 Ninth St., was charged with aggravated burglary, three counts of tampering with evidence and larceny.

Lopez had been charged in a burglary the previous month; he was out on bail for only four days when he was arrested in the latest break-ins.

Around 4 a.m. Christmas Day, the police received a call from a woman who alleged that a man tried breaking into her apartment in the 900 block of Eighth Street while she was sleeping, according to documents filed in Magistrate Court.

She got up to see what the noise was, and the man saw her and ran away, court records state.

Lt. Juan Montaño and Officer Kenneth Stumberg followed footprints in the snow from the woman’s apartment to a home at 1010 Ninth St., police said.

The officers talked to several people in the Ninth Street house. Everyone there, including Lopez, said they had been inside since the previous night.

The police then tracked the same shoe prints to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Ninth. One of the apartment doors was open, and the apartment appeared to have been burglarized, court records state.

All five apartments appeared to have been in disarray as if someone checked through the tenants’ personal effects, police said.

The officers then followed the footprints to a garbage can near Lopez’s house at 1010 Ninth. They found a pair of size 7 tennis shoes inside.

When they asked Lopez about the shoes, he said he wore size 10 shoes, records state. But when officers compared Lopez’s shoes to those in the trash can, they were the same size, police said.

Lopez was taken into custody, and his bond was set at $25,000.

In November, Lopez was charged with aggravated burglary, conspiracy, receiving stolen property and four counts contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to court documents, Lopez told officers that he was an accomplice to burglary in which two firearms were stolen. He said his brother set up the burglary and another man had the stolen firearm.

Police interviewed a witness who said Lopez had sold him the stolen weapon.