Torch-wielding Best Buy burglars caught in the act identified

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV
Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV
Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV
Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into the Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning. By 3TV

PHOENIX – Two people are in police custody after using a torch to break into a Phoenix Best Buy store early Wednesday morning.

It happened at about 3 a.m. at Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road.

According to investigators with the Phoenix Police Department, the man and the woman allegedly used a blowtorch to cut a hole in the door of a loading dock. They crawled through the hole into the store and once inside, they opened the roll-up door of another loading bay. That turned out to be their big mistake. Unbeknownst to them, opening that door set off a silent alarm and dispatched police.

The pair, now identified as Gabriel John Sanchez and Judith Angelica Gallegos-Ybarra,  were loading their Ford pickup truck with merchandise, mostly big-screen televisions and video-game consoles, when officers arrived on the scene, catching them in the act.

The four-door truck was already fully loaded when officers got to the store, but the couple apparently wanted more.

When police got to the store, they spotted Gallegos-Ybarra, 24, in the bed a truck packed with TVS, Xboxes and Playstations. According to Lana Laker, she was moving some televisions that had been taken from the store. Officers quickly took her into custody. When backup arrived and surrounded the store, Sanchez, 33, came outside and was immediately arrested.

According to investigators, had the couple left with their full truck just a few minutes earlier, the police probably would have missed them and they would have gotten away with more than $40,000 worth of televisions and assorted electronics. About $1,400 worth of merchandise was sitting on the loading dock, waiting to be packed into the truck when officers caught the pair.

In addition to the TVs and game consoles, Sanchez and Gallegos-Ybarra allegedly also took video game accessories, games, DVDs, computer accessories and Bluetooth devices.

Laker said Sanchez admitted cutting the hole in the roll-up door of the loading dock. He said he then returned to the store with Gallegos-Ybarra to pick up the goods.

Both suspects were book into jail on charges of third-degree burglary.

The nearly stolen items were put back in the store after police took an inventory.