ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police said a man organized a mob of thieves to storm an Albuquerque sunglass shop. On Thursday, he apologized and got a break in court.
Investigators stated Isaiah Martinez was first spotted stealing two pairs of sunglasses from Sunglass Hut at Coronado Mall in 2021.
Over the next few weeks, investigators said he returned four times, sometimes with an accomplice. Eventually, officials said the thefts turned into mobbing.
In all, Martinez is accused of stealing about $56,000 worth of high-end shades.
Martinez was charged with 21 felonies, including shoplifting, conspiracy, and aggravated assault.
Back in January, he pleaded guilty to just three counts. As part of the deal, the rest of the charges were dismissed. During a sentencing hearing Thursday, Martinez apologized.
“I’m also sorry to the citizens of Albuquerque because I see now that my actions I took at those times could’ve put innocent people in harm’s way, and I have also realized that the bad choices and actions I’m taking were by my addiction of substance abuse,” said Martinez.
As part of the plea, Martinez faced up to six years in prison. Judge Lucy Solimon, instead, decided to delay sentencing and allow Martinez a chance to complete a drug court program. Treatment includes substance abuse therapy, 12-step programs, and more. Judge Solimon said if he fails, he’s looking at all six years.