ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) - It was a brazen burglary over the holidays targeting was the military in New Mexico. Someone broke into a National Guard Armory and made off with a lot of gear.
The thief or thieves didn't make off with any weapons. Still, it's disturbing that this can happen and that the burglars may have known their way around the armory.
The National Guard Armory in Roswell is where soldiers trained to defend the United States are now victims of a crime. Someone cut through the lock leading to the motor section on the compound and broke into a Humvee.
"It doesn't happen very often and typically, if there is some type of theft, it's really petty stuff," said Col. Michael Montoya, public affairs officer for the New Mexico National Guard. "This is a little more higher-level burglary or vandalism than what we're accustomed to."
Whoever did it made their way into tool boxes and cut through at least a dozen locks from the Humvee and eight on Conex intermodal boxes outside. They even placed another lock on the chain when they left.
Military officials are still piecing together what exactly was stolen, but Montoya said that no sensitive equipment, such as weapons or radios were taken.
"Weapons, night-vision goggles, military equipment such as that is stored inside, and it's in a vault with a really good security system," explained Montoya. "So all that stuff is safe inside."
The burglary was reported Thursday, but officials believe it could have happened over the Christmas holiday when much of the staff was on vacation.
Although police often see a spike in theft-related crimes this time of year, investigators said this one is unusual.
"It's very different because it's dealing with military; it's the National Guard," said Sabrina Morales, public information liaison for the Roswell Police Department. "Its very rare that you hear of anybody breaking into places such as the Guard."
"Once we finish our investigation, we'll look at our security measures and look at the threat level and kind of make adjustments from there," said Montoya.
Police are investigating whether this is an inside job. Montoya said it did appear that the person or persons responsible may have known where certain things were stored.
National Guard officials are still taking inventory to see what's missing to determine a dollar amount on the loss. Anyone with information is asked to call Roswell Police.
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