THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – One of the victims of an elaborate theft ring in Adams County is speaking out about the robbers, saying one was someone she used to know.
Lucille Trujillo told CBS4 she’s still angry and upset by what happened. She says she got a visit from Damien Dahmer, 25, and Maryann Martinez, 28, last December. Dahmer was her student in Bible school when he was a boy and she recognized him.
“He said ‘Our car broke down. Can we go in and use the phone to call somebody?’ ” she said.
Lucille let them in and immediately felt uneasy.
“They were trying to distract me all the time,” she said.
When Martinez asked to borrow money, Trujillo went into her bedroom to get her purse. After the couple left, Trujillo then noticed her keys and her car were gone. She also saw the phone lines and screen on her window had been cut.
“It just angered me that I trusted him,” she said. “It hurt my feelings a lot.”
Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said Trujillo was one of six victims of Dahmer and Martinez late last year.
The pair visited the homes of senior citizens they knew. In each case, they would say they had to get inside to use the phone or for some other reason. Once inside, they would steal wallets and purses and, in some cases, car keys and then cars.
On Tuesday an Adams County judge sentenced Dahmer to 16 years in jail. Martinez is set to be sentenced on July 11.
Young says under Colorado’s new elder abuse law seniors are considered at-risk adults, and that victimizing them carries tough new penalties.
“If you are going to take advantage of the elderly you’re going to have to pay the price,” Young said.
Trujillo told CBS4 she “hopes and prays” that during Dahmer’s prison time he “learns not to do that to people, especially when they trust him.”