ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A woman peddling stolen goods got more than she bargained for Friday when she tried to sell the items back to their owner and ended up in handcuffs.
Police say Crystal Romero, 32, called the victim about a week and a half after his Albuquerque home was broken into to try and make a deal, but she wasn’t counting on the victim coming with back up.
After most burglaries it’s unlikely you’ll ever get your stuff back but police say when thieves make off with expensive electronics, which contain the owner’s registration information, many are forgoing the pawn shop, for a different type of payday.
“This is happening quite a bit, crooks can find out who it belongs to, in this case these guys called the victim up and said we’ll sell it back to you,” said Officer Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department.
The Albuquerque man had an Apple laptop, two IPads, an Apple television unit and more stolen, according to a criminal complaint, but then he got a call from someone trying to sell him his stuff back. He called the cops and on a follow up call, they listened as he agreed to meet her at a McDonald’s. Police say having backup is key in cases like this.
“We never want you to go try to purchase the property back, you may be victimized again, let us get involved, especially with undercover officers,” said Drobik.
Those officers were standing by as the victim met the caller at the McDonald’s at 4th Street SW and Bridge. Romero said she had purchased the items from another person. A man was with her. He got away, but police say they know who he is. She tried to tell police she was simply attempting to return the property and apologize. It’s a tale too tall for police.
Drobik said, “She got busted plain and simple, so apology not accepted, but we will accept you and take you down to jail.”
Romero was charged with one count of receiving stolen property, a felony. She was still in jail as of Sunday night.
Police say the suspect was demanding $400 in exchange for the goods but it’s unclear if the woman arrested is connected to the burglary.
The victim got most of his stuff back.