Bizarre attempted break-in leads to arrest of repeat offenders

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) - On a normal Saturday night, two sisters and a friend were hanging out in their garage. Suddenly, they heard a knock on their garage door.

"She's asking for the jumper cables," said Rachel Martinez, the homeowner.

Martinez said a young woman told them "our" car broke down and she needed jumper cables. Martinez only saw one person outside the windows on her garage door, so it immediately didn't sit right with her.

"Just the hour. Most people don't knock on another person's garage door that late at night or early in the morning, I should say," said Martinez.

It was around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Martinez and her sister, Sarah Estrada, told the young girl to leave, but she didn't. So, they called the Los Lunas Police Department.

Martinez said then it seemed like the young girl did leave. Then when they saw an LLPD officer drive by their house -- worried he was lost -- they opened the garage door to flag him down.

"I asked, 'Julie do you hear that? Do you hear something?' It was like someone was wrestling around in the rocks. They were moving pretty fast," said Martinez.

Martinez said at that point, she saw a man sprinting directly at her.

"He knew exactly where he was going. The garage door was open and that was their opportunity to get in," said Martinez.

Martinez and her friend ran back into the garage and slammed the manual door shut.

"You walk outside your house and there's some wild man running, sprinting at you. It was... it was pretty scary," said Martinez.

From then on, Martinez, her sister, and a friend watched a standoff unfold outside their home.

After police arrived, the alleged criminals barricaded themselves inside a stolen car.

According to the police report, the responding officer says Gary Baca and Monique Lariva were found hiding in a stolen Crown Victoria car.

The officer says he found a "clear crystal-like substance," drug paraphernalia, and "extensive damage to the motor vehicle's ignition" inside the car.

Baca and Lariva were both booked into the Valencia County Detention Center for receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicles, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and trafficking controlled substances.

This is Baca's fourth stolen motor vehicle charge. The prior three came out of Albuquerque. He also has arrests for speeding, drugs, and insurance related charges. Baca is being held at the Valencia County Detention Center on a no bond hold.

Lariva had been arrested in Albuquerque twice on shoplifting charges. Lariva was released on her own recognizance.

Martinez said she doesn't know why the two were trying to get into their home while they were home.

"It's obvious they're not very afraid of these types of things, to break into people's homes, because our lights were on," said Martinez.

Martinez said they're happy things worked out the way they did, and that they could help get these repeat criminals off the streets, at least for a few days.


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