Four New Mexicans suspected of carrying out an elaborate plot to burglarize a man’s home in Bayfield were advised of their legal rights Wednesday in 6th Judicial District Court.
All four were being held Wednesday in the La Plata County jail on suspicion of felony burglary. Bail was set at $25,000 in each of their cases.
Two women – Tiffany Pope, 21, of Farmington, and Amanda Cole, 26, of Bloomfield – are suspected of parking a pickup in a man’s driveway and pretending to have mechanical problems, said Dan Bender, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred about 10 a.m. Tuesday on County Road 516, about two miles south of Bayfield.
The homeowner, Bobby McCoy, walked outside to see what the problem was. He agreed to help the women by test driving the pickup with them inside.
He drove the truck about one mile, during which time the women propositioned McCoy, offering themselves to him for $150, he said.
He told investigators the women seemed “wasted” and “on drugs,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in 6th Judicial District Court.
While on the drive, two masked men entered McCoy’s home and stole four rifles, Bender said.
McCoy’s son, Andy, who was working on the property, saw the two men leaving the house with the guns.
Andy McCoy tried to stop the men, but they fled on foot.
McCoy arrived back home about that time and learned of what had happened. The two women sped away in the truck, he said.
The Bayfield Marshal’s Office found the two men hiding in a bush about a quarter mile from the house. They were identified as Lionel McCall, 39, of Aztec, and Marcus Whittenburg, 18, of Farmington.
The women were found a short time later driving the pickup on Colorado Highway 172 north of Ignacio.
Authorities on Wednesday said the pickup was stolen.
None of the four suspects made any statements Wednesday in court. Deputies reprimanded Pope for making eye-contact with one of the other defendants, and Whittenburg was reprimanded for saying something to one of his co-defendants.
Formal charges are expected to be filed against all four defendants April 26 in District Court.