Man Breaks Into New Mexico Store — To Pay for Cigarettes

A New Mexico man was trying really hard to be a good guy when he smashed in the door of a convenience store for a pack of cigarettes, authorities say.

IMAGE: Man paying for cigarettes in store he broke into
A man identified by police as Ellis Battista shows a security camera that he is leaving payment for a pack of cigarettes at a Las Cruces, New Mexico, convenience store he allegedly broke in to Sunday. Las Cruces Police Department

The man, identified as Ellis C. Battista, 24, of Las Cruces, went to a Bradley convenience store about 3:30 a.m. Sunday to buy cigarettes, but the store was closed, Las Cruces police said Tuesday.

After pounding on the door several times to no avail, Battista kicked in the door's lower panel, chose a pack of Camels and left $6 on the counter — carefully making sure the security camera could see he was paying for the smokes — police said.

Battista is "believed to be intoxicated at the time," police said. Damage to the door was estimated at $800, they said.

Battista was free on $4,000 bond awaiting an initial court appearance March 8 on a single count of fourth-degree breaking and entering, according to Doña Ana County court records.

A friend who was with him stayed outside and wasn't charged.