ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - While an Albuquerque family was at the hospital with a dying relative last Wednesday, burglars ransacked their home. Now, a neighbor is facing charges related to the crime.
Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies charged Amber Baca, 20, with receiving stolen property after detectives said they found some of the stolen items inside her bedroom. Her home sits right next door to the victims. The items were reported stolen last week.
Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Chavez said on June 15 the family left their home and rushed their relative to the hospital. He later died. For less than 24 hours the house was unoccupied. It was during that time that the family said the home was burglarized.
Chavez said when the family returned on in the early morning hours of June 16 they walked into a ransacked home.
"They were already upset from all of this shock, and then to come home to have your house burglarized," Chavez said. "It was pretty unbelievable."
The family started making funeral arrangements and was also tasked with writing up a list of what was stolen. According to a criminal complaint, the list of stolen goods included a sound system, televisions, a jewelry chest, video game systems and a laptop.
A few days later, deputies would stumble upon some of the stolen items inside neighbor Amber Bacas' home.
Detectives, who had heard about the burglary, were looking for Baca on a warrant for an unrelated case.
On Tuesday, they caught up with her. Deputies said inside Bacas' room they found the Padilla's stolen computer along with their camcorder, iPod and digital camera.
Deputies said Baca told them she got the stolen goods from a man who lived on the next street. However, she was not able to tell them his name or where he lived.
For now, Baca's been charged with receiving stolen property. However, deputies are waiting to see if she'll face more charges.
"They way they broke in is they went in through the back door. They pried open that door," said Chavez.
Chavez said the burglars left behind a gardening tool used to pry open the door with fingerprints on it. It will be tested against Baca.
Detectives say Baca knew the family was not home because she had left their house as they were leaving to go to the hospital.
"She was there; she talked to the victim's daughter," Chavez said.
On Thursday the Padillas buried their father. They had a family friend watch over their house while they were at the service.
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