ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The manager of a popular Albuquerque comic book store is frustrated. He claims someone attempted to burn his business down Friday night and said this isn’t the first time either. 

KRQE News 13 spoke with Chris Losack, a manager at Astro Zombies in Nob Hill. He said he came to work Saturday morning to find scorch marks on the popular mural that’s painted on the store. He also said this is at least the fifth time someone has vandalized the business during the pandemic.

“Since the pandemic started, we’ve had two attempted burnings of the building, we’ve had at least five different vandalisms that have happened on the mural in the last few weeks,” said Losack. “Including an attempted break-in next door and now a significant attempt at burning the place down.”

Losack believes someone attempted to burn down the store sometime between 6:45 Friday night and 10:00 Saturday morning. He found scorch marks on the mural on the side of the business – which has become a popular attraction over the years.

“This has been rampant the last several months and it’s frustrating,” said Losack. “It’s just a simple mural that people love and it draws attention to our store and it represents all the things we love as hobbyists.”  

Losack said he believes police aren’t doing enough to protect Nob Hill businesses from crime. “I was told to call on Monday to get some help for this,” said Losack. “But what’s going on, on Saturdays and Sundays then at the substation? There’s a substation a block away and this is happening in the middle of the night.” Losack said he’d like to see an increased police presence throughout the neighborhood, especially at night when businesses are closed.

The Albuquerque Police Department told KRQE the southeast area officers work extensively with merchants in Nob Hill. They ask business owners to report these crimes to the area command and to speak to a crime prevention specialist.

Losack said he doesn’t plan to fix the mural as of now, which he said could cost up to $10,000. It’s unclear if Albuquerque Fire Rescue is investigating.