When police caught 26-year-old Adriana Gamboa giving her kids a bath in a vacant home for sale, she told them she'd been seeking respite from the domestic violence shelter she had been staying at. But instead of peace and quiet, Gamboa got an arrest record and her children taken away.
Chandler police also arrested a man, Gary Lynn, inside the home near Gilbert Road and Chandler Boulevard about 5 p.m. on September 7. Both were booked into jail on suspicion of trespassing. Police placed Gamboa's 2- and 4-year-old children into the custody of Arizona's Department of Child Safety, then highlighted the arrest on the department's website.
Police say they received a call from a prospective buyer who came to see the house on Saturday and noticed a couple with two young kids and a stroller inside. The home has been vacant for about two weeks, but it seems Gamboa and Lynn only used the empty house that day.
The home is listed by an online real estate company and allows potential buyers to access the house by registering, using their driver's license and an email, to receive an entry code to the house. Police believe that's how the couple got in: Police later searched Gamboa's phone and found she had installed the app required to get the entry code.
When police first entered the home, they found Lynn sitting on the floor next to two large duffel bags full of clothing, a stroller, and some food. He was talking on his cellphone while charging it on a wall outlet, court records state. Cops could also hear the voice of a woman singing upstairs.
Officers went to the home's master bedroom on the second level and found Gamboa "actively giving a second small child a bath." She said her children had been sweaty after the couple walked over from the shelter to view the home, so she'd decided to give them a bath and take a shower herself.
Gamboa and Lynn were arrested and booked into Chandler-Gilbert Unified Jail for trespassing. The police website writeup states that Gamboa was also in possession of drug paraphernalia, but didn't specify the type of alleged paraphernalia. Asked about the alleged drug paraphernalia, Chandler police spokesperson Detective Seth Tyler said, "the officer wrote it was a glass bottle with burnt residue inside."
Police noted that Gamboa is homeless on the Form IV for her arrest, and said there's an indication she may be struggling with addiction. Police allege Gamboa previously had a warrant issued for her arrest at some point due to a failure to appear in court for a prior arrest.
Both Gamboa and Lynn told police that they didn't understand why they were being detained or arrested, records state, since all they had done is view a home for sale and use the bathroom facilities while they were there.