Police: Coin burglars caught with guns in pants

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say they were in the right place at the right time when they caught two men red-handed with a strange stash stuffed in their pants.

Española police said one of the suspects had multiple guns including a long shotgun shoved in his pants, while the other suspect had a stack of very costly coins.

While on patrol in Española on Monday, Detective Corporal Solomon Romero and Deputy Chief Richard Gallegos noticed two men walking along Fairview Lane.

“One of them was walking kind of funny,” recalled Romero. “The other one was carrying a box, and out of the box you could clearly see a bunch of knife handles.”

Turns out police recognized both men, Robert Garcia and Andrew Trujillo, from prior burglaries. When they stopped to talk to the the men, Romero said he heard the deputy chief shout.

“I hear him yell ‘watch it!’ so I turned to see what was going on. As I turned, I see Robert Garcia begin to pull a shotgun out of his pants,” recalled Romero.

Romero said Garcia had pulled a long shotgun and two more older model revolvers out of his pants.

“Three guns in his pants. The shotgun was approximately, I would say about three-and-a-half feet long, and he had shoved it down his pant leg,” said Romero.

Police had their guns drawn as they commanded Garcia to put his hands up. No one got hurt and both men were arrested.

Romero said Trujillo was carrying a box with more than $10,000 worth of old silver coins, $2 bills, and their neighbors mail.

The mail led them to a woman’s home nearby, where police said the duo had broken into the victim’s garage with a pry bar and took the items from her safe.

The victim told police the coins, some as old as 1888, were a family heirloom that had been passed down from generations.

Garcia recently got out of jail after police said he was caught on surveillance video breaking into the Las Cumbres Community Services building, a non-profit agency that helps the disabled. KRQE News 13 reported that story in January, which showed men tearing apart computers there, and vandalizing property.

In this case, police said Garcia yelled at Trujillo during their arrest, shouting, “I told you bro, you’re stupid! I knew we would get caught!”

“It gets frustrating in law enforcement dealing with the same people over and over again, but you got to kind of put that aside and just continue to do your job and let the courts and District Attorneys do their job,” explained Romero. “You know, it all has to work together.”

The victim wasn’t home when KRQE News 13 tried to talk to her Wednesday, but she told police she was thankful they caught the suspects, and didn’t realize her garage was burglarized until after police found the guys.

Police said the three guns Garcia had in his pants were not loaded, but they didn’t know that when Garcia reached for them.

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