Two arrested in online date turned alleged armed robbery

A suspect, victim made plans to meet via Plenty of Fish dating site

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Patrick Atencio and Amanda Barela are facing charges including armed robbery.
  • The victim told police Barela later let in two Hispanic males into the residence.
  • Both suspects are being held without bond at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
Amanda Barela

FARMINGTON — Two suspects have been arrested in connection to an alleged armed robbery organized using an online dating platform.

Patrick Atencio, 20, is accused of six charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, according to court records.

Amanda Barela, 33, is accused of four charges including conspiracy to commit armed robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, according to court records.

The suspects, charged on Oct. 29, are accused of robbing a Farmington man Barela was messaging on the Plenty of Fish online dating platform, according to the arrest warrant.

The suspects did not have legal representation Monday.

Farmington Police Department officers were dispatched at 10:14 p.m. on Aug. 28, to the 1100 block of Dehli Ave. on reports of an armed robbery.

The alleged victim was observed with a torn t-shirt and laceration to the left side of his face that was bleeding.

Patrick Atencio

He told police he had been messaging a woman later identified as Barela on the Plenty of Fish platform earlier in the day and made plans to hang out at his residence that night.

The alleged victim picked up Barela in his vehicle and they arrived at his residence around 9:45 p.m. He told police Barela was acting strange and drinking beer she brought with her.

The alleged victim told police Barela later let two Hispanic males into the residence and he was immediately struck in the face with a shotgun.

Atencio allegedly held the victim to the ground by grabbing him by the shoulders.

The victim tried to fight Atencio and was able to get Atencio to let go of him.  

Then an unidentified skinny Hispanic male grabbed the shotgun and pointed it at the victim, according to court documents.

Barela allegedly stole the victim's wallet and keys before she ran outside, and documents indicate that the other suspects followed.

The victim believed Barela set him up because she insisted on him leaving a gate unlocked and let the two male suspects inside the residence.

Officers arriving on scene also spoke to the alleged victim's landlord. The landlord stated he went to check on his tenant when he was confronted by Atencio, who pointed a shotgun at him.

The landlord said two men ran toward a parked vehicle with a woman in the driver's seat and the vehicle "peeled out" of the driveway after the men got in.

Both suspects are being held without bond at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

Barela's preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday morning in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Atencio's first appearance is set for Tuesday in Farmington Magistrate Court. 

Farmington Police Department spokesperson Georgette Allen said the department is still working to find two people of interest in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Farmington detective tipline at 505-599-1068

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