Two women suspected of baiting local man

4 New Mexicans jailed in connection with ruse

Tiffany Pope, 21, Farmington Enlarge photo

Tiffany Pope, 21, Farmington

Four New Mexicans are suspected of taking advantage of a Bayfield man’s generosity by burglarizing his home.

The incident occurred about 10 a.m. Tuesday in the 6000 block of County Road 516, about two miles south of Bayfield.

Bobby McCoy, 57, said he was working in his shop when his dog alerted him that someone was outside.

McCoy said he saw a pickup parked in his driveway with two women standing nearby.

“They told me they were having problems with their pickup, and it was over-heating and wasn’t shifting and asked me if I would take a ride with them, and I did,” McCoy said.

McCoy drove the truck about a mile, he said.

The women said they were lost and wanted to know if County Road 516 led to Ignacio and the Sky Ute Casino, which it does.

They also propositioned McCoy, he said.

“They asked me if I had a wife or a girlfriend,” he said. “I said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Well, do you want to? You can have us both for $150 an hour.’”

McCoy said he wasn’t interested.

“I knew something was up,” he said.

His suspicions were right.

While he was away in the truck, two masked men entered McCoy’s home and stole four rifles, said Dan Bender, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

McCoy’s son, Andy, was working on his father’s property when he saw the masked men exit his dad’s house with four guns.

At first, he thought they might be kids playing games with pellet guns, he said. Then he saw the men remove their masks.

Andy said he tried to approach the men, but they dropped the guns and ran toward Bayfield. Andy stopped chasing them after he realized he didn’t have a gun for self-protection.

He went back to the house to call his father and the police.

McCoy had just returned home when his cellphone rang.

It was his son telling him that the house had been burglarized.

At first, Bobby McCoy said he didn’t make the connection that the women were involved, he said. When he did, he jumped out of the truck and the girls sped away.

Several agencies responded, including the Sheriff’s Office, Southern Ute Police Department, Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Bayfield Marshal’s Office.

Shortly after 11 a.m., a Bayfield Marshal’s deputy found two men hiding in bushes about a quarter mile from the home, Bender said.

Lionel McCall, 39, of Aztec, and Marcus Whittenburg, 18, of Farmington, were arrested on suspicion of felony burglary.

“The response was real quick,” Andy McCoy said. “If they hadn’t been so quick, there’s no way they would have caught them.”

A short time later, law enforcement located the pickup involved in the ruse driving on Colorado Highway 172 north of Ignacio. Two women inside the pickup matched the description of the two women who approached McCoy, Bender said.

The women were identified as Tiffany Pope, 21, of Farmington, and Amanda Cole, 26, of Bloomfield. Both were arrested on suspicion of felony burglary, Bender said.

All four suspects were being held Tuesday night on $25,000 bail at the La Plata County jail.

Police also recovered all four rifles that were stolen.

Authorities were investigating whether the foursome may be connected to other burglaries in the region.

Amanda Cole, 26, Bloomfield Enlarge photo

Amanda Cole, 26, Bloomfield

Marcus Whittenburg, 18, Farmington Enlarge photo

Marcus Whittenburg, 18, Farmington

Lionel McCall, 39, Aztec Enlarge photo

Lionel McCall, 39, Aztec

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