Second suspect nabbed for Bealls theft

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By Tris DeRoma

The second suspect in a March 9 shoplifting incident, where a male bystander was struck by a fleeing vehicle, is now in custody in the Los Alamos Detention Center.

The shoplifting incident took place early afternoon at Bealls Department Store. 

Stephanie Garcia, 31, was transported from Española Tuesday to the center. Before being booked, she was charged with shoplifting (more than $250, less than $2,500) and conspiracy. Both charges are fourth-degree felonies. Garcia is being held without bail until her initial hearing before a judge, which is expected to be this week. 

Police arrested the second  suspect, Ashley Garcia, 23, of Hernandez, March 13. Garcia remains in custody at the LADC pending her preliminary hearing May 4. 

The two women are not related. Garcia was charged with shoplifting (over $500 but not more than $2,500), aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and failure to give and render aid.

Ashley Garcia described Stephanie Garcia as a “friend” in an interview with police about the incident. Ashley Garcia was arrested Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s deputies March 14 for the March 9 incident. 

In a police report issued by Los Alamos Police Department Detective Joseph Robinson, he said he witnessed Ashley Garcia and Stephanie Garcia flee the scene with clothing from the store before striking a Los Alamos man with the vehicle they were driving. The man was attempting to stop them from getting away, Robinson said in the report. 

The man was treated for his injuries and transported to Los Alamos Medical Center conscious and awake. The man suffered a broken nose during the incident. 

Ashley Garcia was in Los Alamos for a court date on March 9. She told police that as she left court with Stephanie Garcia, and proceeded to drive out of Los Alamos, they spotted a male friend and offered him a ride. When the male friend got into their car, she said he allegedly pulled a gun on them and ordered them to rob the Bealls Department store, according to a police report. 

When they hit the pedestrian, the man that was with them allegedly pointed the gun at Ashley and told her to keep driving. Ashley Garcia told police they dropped the man off in La Puebla. His whereabouts are currently unknown.