NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Farmers in one southeast New Mexico county are fed up after a series of burglars have been targeting their property. Two people are in custody after a string of burglaries in Hagerman. Two farmers caught them in the act last Monday night.
Valerie Reynolds and David Vasquez were on a farm near Hagerman where they were noticed by Lorenzo Rodriguez, one of the farmers. He went outside and saw a gold van take off with several others in it but was able to stop Reynolds and Vasquez in a grey Ford Ranger.
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“They ended up getting out of the vehicle. We pulled the keys out of the ignition so they wouldn’t leave,” Rodriguez said, “I had my shotgun. And they kept begging us ‘let us go, you guys got your things back, just let us go’ and we would not do it.”
He and another farmer called the police who came and arrested Reynolds and Vasquez.
According to Hagerman Police Chief Rachelle Bateman, the truck from the Oct. 4 incident matched security footage of another farm hit by possibly the same suspects a few weeks ago, resulting in several items being stolen, including a grain elevator.
“They brought it to our attention that they have been getting hit pretty harder for the past few weeks and all of them had the similar description of the possible vehicle, a Ford Ranger some were able to get them on the security cam,” Chief Bateman said.
Chief Bateman said that some stolen equipment has been returned to the proper owners but the grain elevator is still missing. Police say most of the stolen equipment is being sold at scrap yards for cash.
Farmers in the area are happy that someone is being brought to justice for the crimes. Rodriguez had a message to share with those who live in the area and are worried they could be the next victim. “Most people just need to be prepared. You never know what’s going to happen, expect the unexpected,” said Rodriguez.
Hagerman Police say there is at least a third and fourth suspect connected to these crimes. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Hagerman Police Department.