Albuquerque residents search for ‘Grinch’ who stole Christmas decor


It would appear some Christmas crooks went on a crime spree in Albuquerque over the weekend.

Neighbors on the Westside and in the South Valley both captured similar thefts and vehicle break-ins on their home surveillance Saturday night.

It’s one thing to break into cars, but it’s another to steal the Christmas spirit like a real Grinch.

“It looks like they went on a little bit of a spree last night,” said Leandro Lovato, Albuquerque resident who had a family car broken into.

Neighbors near Unser and Ladera woke up to see a group of thieves scoping out homes early Sunday morning before stealing anything they could get their hands on.

“Well at about 1:57 a.m. they came up,” Lovato said. “Cased my car, her car and then saw hers and they stole the inflatable Santa from across the way.”

After watching the ridiculous and petty crime on his surveillance cameras, Lovato took to a popular Facebook crime watch group hoping someone would recognize the thieves. He soon learned his neighborhood wasn’t the only one targeted.

“Immediately I got tagged and saw another one down on Blake,” he said. “That looked to be a similar vehicle, a white SUV suburban. They took inflatables from them as well at about 5 a.m.”

The family at the South Valley home say thieves stole two of their Christmas inflatables. While it may not be the most heinous of crimes, it’s a crime nonetheless and APD will be figuring out who’s on Santa’s naughty list.

“Very Grinch-like obviously at this time of year,” said Albuquerque Police Officer Simon Drobik. “We want to get these things back to the homeowners and we want to get these guys identified.”

If they are found, Lovato has a message for the people trying to deflate the Christmas spirit around town.

“There are other ways of getting stuff. Go to work. Get a job. Don’t take from other people,” Lovato said. 

Officer Drobik suggests any other victims of crimes like this go to the Crime Stoppers website and submit their surveillance video. That way police can internally share information to help bust these Grinches.

That being said, anyone with information about the Christmas decoration thefts should call Crime Stoppers.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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