A male allegedly tried to cash one of the checks in Albuquerque

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FARMINGTON — A woman is accused of a stealing $4,000 and blank checks from a Farmington business where she was friends with employees and management.

Hortencia Gutierrez, 30, is accused of non-residential burglary along with larceny, according to court records.

She is accused of stealing $4,000 in cash and blank checks from Homes Direct at 2190 Bloomfield Highway on or around Oct. 2 using keys from the business, according to the probable cause statement.

Gutierrez did not have legal representation Monday.

A Farmington Police Department officer was dispatched on the afternoon of Oct. 2 to Homes Direct on reports of a burglary.

An employee found all the money in a cash box was stolen, along with many blank checks made out to the company.

She stated she found a set of keys to the cash box at her residence on Oct. 1 after Gutierrez showered there.

The keys were discovered by her children in the bathroom Gutierrez had used.

The employee told police Gutierrez sometimes stayed at her residence, but the suspect did not technically live there.

The employee initially didn't know the keys the children found were keys the business' cash box, until she tried them and they opened the box.

Gutierrez was a friend of staffers and management at Homes Direct, according to court documents.

The documents state that the suspect would use the business's computer in a back office, where she had access to the cash box and where the keys were stored.

Gutierrez allegedly requested money from the employee on Oct. 2, asking her to send money and address it to a man not charged in the case.

A male with the same name also allegedly tried to cash a Homes Direct check in Albuquerque on Oct. 2 but was denied.

On Oct. 3, a Farmington officer arrested Gutierrez at Homes Direct for a probation violation and she was trespassed from the business.

She was using a computer in the back office and was described by an employee as "acting very strange."

Gutierrez was convicted of a misdemeanor count of larceny on Dec. 18, according to court records.

She is being held without bond at the county jail.

Her preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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