Farmington man arrested in Kirtland Pawn break-in

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A 51-year-old Farmington man is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond in connection to the theft of firearms from Kirtland Pawn.

Marcellus Lobato was charged Friday in Aztec Magistrate Court with aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, disposing of stolen property, eight counts of firearm theft, possession of burglary tools and petty misdemeanor vandalism.

Lobato was charged in March with first-degree felony kidnapping and aggravated burglary, among other offenses, after he was accused of attempting to kidnap his ex-girlfriend.

According to court records, those charges were dismissed by the prosecution in April.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said Wednesday that the witness in the case failed to appear, despite the preliminary hearing being rescheduled several times.

San Juan County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched at about 5 a.m. May 27 to Kirtland Pawn, 4238 U.S. Highway 64, after receiving reports that the business had been burglarized, according to an arrest warrant.

The metal bars covering a window on the northwest side of the business were removed with a cutting torch, and the window was smashed, the warrant states.

A floor mat and a blanket were found below the window, according to the warrant. Police note in the warrant the items were likely used to cover the window so that the suspect could safely crawl through it.

Kirtland Pawn owner Jim Bailey told detectives that eight .50-caliber black-powder rifles, each one valued at $400, were stolen from the store.

Outside the business, detectives found two different sets of footprints and drag marks leading into a nearby field, according to the warrant. Police tracked the marks to a trash can at the corner of county roads 6404 and 6411.

A sledgehammer and a zippered bag containing various items, including a white T-shirt and a bottle of vodka, were laid on top of the trash can, according to the warrant.

Surveillance footage from the store showed a larger man with tattoos on his right arm smashing in the store window with the sledgehammer while a second, shorter man stood lookout, the warrant states. The men jointly loaded the guns into the trash can and then fled in a vehicle that, based on tread marks, appeared to be equipped with all-terrain tires.

On May 29, a sheriff's detective driving in the area of East 20th Street and Butler Avenue in Farmington spotted a maroon pickup truck being driven by a man the detective recognized from the surveillance footage, according to the warrant.

The detective went to the man's residence and discovered the vehicle, which had all-terrain vehicles, was registered to Lobato.

On June 3, deputies executed a search warrant at the residence and recovered a pair of black boots that matched the shoe impressions left at the scene of the burglary, the warrant states. No firearms were found at the residence, according to the warrant.

Lobato was placed under arrest and declined to provide a statement.

Sheriff's Detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln said Wednesday that the shorter man seen in the surveillance footage has not yet been identified.

A spokeswoman for the Office of the public defender said Wednesday that Lobato has not been assigned an attorney and, according to court records, he has not retained private legal representation.

He is set to appear at a preliminary hearing on June 18.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.