Escondido burglars sent to prison

Armed with baseball bats, but crime spree stopped by Navy veterans

Antonio Gabriel Amador, Brandon Douglas Martinez (photos by Bob Weatherston)
  • Antonio Gabriel Amador, Brandon Douglas Martinez (photos by Bob Weatherston)

On December 5, Antonio Gabriel Amador, 18, and Brandon Douglas Martinez, 20, were both sentenced to seven years in state prison for burglary and robbery. In their plea deals, four other felonies were dismissed for each man, and custody for trailing criminal matters will be served concurrently with the new sentences.

Amador and Martinez were accused of a crime spree in Escondido the night of August 21, 2013. A little after midnight, a woman on Kenora Place awoke to find two men with baseball bats in her home. When she called for her husband, the men fled.

Soon after, a person a few blocks away was robbed of his bicycle.

Next, a woman observed two strangers in her neighborhood trying doors. She yelled at them to leave when they approached her home, but one of them bashed in the windshield of her parked car with a baseball bat. Escondido police said the descriptions of those perpetrators and their getaway car matched Amador and Martinez.

The crime spree was halted about 2:30 a.m., after a woman named Ashley was awakened in her home by her dog. She discovered two men in her home — one armed with a baseball bat and another with a crowbar. Ashley called for her two male roommates; one man is in the Navy and one recently retired from the Navy.

The Navy men used their fists and chairs and a metal candle holder against the armed intruders, according to investigators. Ashley said she wrestled with the man who had the crowbar; the intruder left it behind when both burglars retreated via the living-room window, through which they had entered the home.

“We kept our window open 'cause our air conditioner is broken and it was hot,” said Ashley, who also served in the Navy.

The burglars left behind their baseball cap, shoes, blood, and other evidence, according to reports.

Amador and Martinez were apprehended when they went to Palomar Medical Center for treatment of head wounds.

A probation report stated that Martinez’s criminal record began when he was 14 years old, with residential burglary and grand theft. When he was 15, there was a graffiti conviction; when he was 16, more burglary; when he was 17, there was a petty theft and a DUI.

Amador began his criminal career at age 15, with grand theft and battery, according to a probation report. The next year, he was convicted of vehicle theft and burglary. When he was 17 years old, he was accused of participating in gang activities in Sacramento, plus having a stolen vehicle.

The men made plea deals on November 4 and were sentenced to prison on December 5.  Judge David Berry also ordered each man to pay more than $3900 restitution to their victims.

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Seven years sounds severe until you realize that they'll be in their late twenties when they get out with a post-grad degree in criminality, and no job prospects in sight. So, we'll hear of them again, and again, and again. A couple of real Escondido "punk uglies" of the worst sort.

Plus, they won't be there for anything CLOSE to seven years. Unless they screwed up badly, it would be three and a half, maybe four, tops. But today, with AB109? These "non-violent offenders" will quickly be remanded to county jail and then back onto the streets. They'll be back well within two years.

The DA really sold out the taxpayers this time. Rolled over on 4 felonies rather than protect the public for a longer period from these thugs. NO PLEA BARGAINS!

Unfortunately, "no plea bargains" would mean every case goes to trial in our badly-overloaded legal system.

Rather, we need a true three-strikes system. First offense for a crime involving violence or deprivation of property or rights, we may try to rehabilitate you. Second time, you get 20 years to think about it. Third time, life without parole. We'll be far better off building more prisons, or paying Arizona and Texas and Georgia to imprison them for us, than we will with an unending flow of antisocial thieves and rapists and muggers constantly pouring out into the streets. Lock them up and forget about them.

Let's be thankful that the victims, who fought back, weren't charged with ADW. Stranger things have happened. I'm not sure that these offenses fail to qualify as non-violent; attacking residents during a burglary sounds violent to me. But I'm inclined to agree that these punks will be back in circulation in far less than seven years. Escondido folks, beware! They walk among you.

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