Cigar store Indian statue stolen from store in Old Town

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A brazen heist in the heart of Old Town was caught on a surveillance camera. A group making off with a five-foot-tall wooden statue historically referred to as a cigar store Indian. Surveillance video just outside of Covered Wagon around 7:40 p.m. Monday night, the same time the protests were going on a few blocks away at the Onate statue in Tiguex Park.

The video shows two women cutting the chains off the sculpture after the store closed and then walking away. About five minutes later, a red truck pulls up and two men get out, put the wooden figure in the back of the truck and drive off. The manager of the store said the wooden figure has been outside the store for more than 60 years.

“It’s just heartbreaking and we just don’t understand why you would take something that’s been such an iconic piece of our history, of Old Town,” said Estephanita Garcia. “Something that means something to everyone.”

There are people opposed to these so-called cigar store Indians, saying they perpetuate stereotypes. The manager said they have never received any complaints.

It’s unclear if this was political or if someone just wanted it for their home. The wooden figure was valued at $2,500. The store plans on getting a new one soon.

The store reported the crime to the police. KRQE reached out to the Albuquerque Police Department for any updates on the case but did not hear back. 

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