ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves are targeting trailers time and time again, but this time they got the trailer of famous Albuquerque balloon pilot Troy Bradley. Thieves stole Bradley’s trailer from his driveway with his family’s hot air balloon inside.
With 64 ballooning world records, Chief Rainbow Ryders Pilot Troy Bradley says for him, ballooning is more than a profession. “Ballooning is not only my career, it’s my passion, my life. Everything that I do is with balloons,” Bradley said. After waking up Thursday morning at their home in northwest Albuquerque, Bradley and his family found their balloon and trailer missing from their driveway. “It’s unfortunate because this is not an uncommon occurrence…we were the short end of the stick in this one, and I didn’t think it would happen,” said Bradley.
Unfortunately for the balloon pilot, he says his doorbell camera didn’t catch the thieves who targeted his home; but Bradley says he doesn’t believe the crooks knew what they were stealing. “I’m not certain that they were targeting a balloon – more as the trailer that they were looking for. So, I am hoping that they see the cargo that was on board is of no value to them and that they drop it off somewhere that we can get it recovered,” Bradley said.
Bradley, who piloted his 40th Balloon Fiesta last October, says the prized family possession holds a lot of sentimental value, including unforgettable moments he’s made with his son and daughter. ”She’s devastated by it. This is a balloon that she did a lot of her flight training in. My son did flight training in this balloon. She’s done some long flights in it. She was the youngest pilot at fiesta when she was 16 flying this balloon,” said Bradley.
In a message to the crooks who stole his trailer, Bradley says he doesn’t mind if they keep the trailer, but hopes the balloon will turn up undamaged. In response to the theft, Bradley says he will be tightening up security at his home to keep this from happening again.