Felony Lovers Get Court Date After Circle K Standoff
By: ABQRAW staff
Posted: 5/27/2022 at 12:55PM
Lee Barela and Mia Avalos
Yesterday we brought you coverage of a stand off that resulted from a pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The chase led to a stand off at Circle K at Coors and Bluewater. The event led to two suspects being detained and charged. The two suspects from the incident have been identified as Mia Avalos and Lee Barela of Albuquerque. Auto theft detectives were following a 2014 Kia Forte that was reported stolen on 5/26/2022. APD had the vehicle stopped on the westside of Albuquerque at one point but it fled. Avalos was identified as the driver of the vehicle and commands were given for her to not take off. There was a prior call that claimed the vehicle had a gun inside. Avalos drove off and APD was successful in spike belting the vehicle. After the initial failed stop there was a short chase monitored by air support. The chase led to a crash with the another vehicle at the intersection of Coors and Bluewater Rd.
After an hour and a half in the Circle K, Avalos and Lee Barela exited the building and were taken into custody. According to a criminal complaint, Avalos told police she got the car from a guy on Louisiana Ave SE in the war zone and it was still running. She told officers she was homeless and on hard times and that is why she took the stolen vehicle. She admitted to shoplifting from Walgreens and fleeing the store. She denied knowing anything about the gun in the vehicle. The complaint states Barela got the vehicle from the "War Zone" (now known as the International District) Barela also said he saw ignition damage and the car was running. He admitted to being at the Walgreens shoplifting incident but didn’t know that she had shoplifted. He told police he fled from officers because Avalos told him "babe, we are not going to see each other again."
Barela admitted to hiding the gun from officers because he was a convicted felon. Both suspects stated they did not know who owns the gun. It was not reported as stolen and was loaded with 12 rounds.
The court cases are pending and a pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled. Barela has a criminal record dating back to 2003. Avalos record goes back to 2016 with drug and car theft charges. Avalos had a court case pending for a 2021 case of stealing a vehicle.
Both were charged with: Receiving or Transferring Stolen Motor Vehicle Conspiracy to Commit Receiving/Transferring Stolen Motor Vehicles Receipt, Transportation or Possession of a Firearm or Destructive Device by Certain Persons and Resisting, Evading or Obstructing an Officer (Arrest).