LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Rangers are warning people using a popular hiking trail in Los Lunas to take their valuables with them after a string of car break-ins.
It was a quiet day at the El Cerro de Los Lunas Preserve on Monday. But on the weekends and evenings, the trailhead is a popular place for visitors during the pandemic, including unwanted visitors who have been breaking into vehicles over the past couple of months.
“When nobody’s in the parking lots or when it’s empty and they’re cars and they’re out hiking with their families, they’re busting their windows open really fast, grabbing what they can and leaving right away,” said Nathanial Blanton, a Los Lunas Park Ranger.
Blanton said there have been about ten break-ins the last three months. He said with the recent crime spree they implemented cameras but they didn’t last too long.
“Unfortunately, they did notice the cameras that we placed up and have made multiple attempts and have been successful at taking our cameras and breaking them; you know destroying them, stealing them,” said Blanton.
Whether it’s breaking into vehicles or even stealing the cameras placed to deter crime, one hiker says they feel uneasy about it all.
“It’s a tragic occurrence you know. Personally, I’ve been affected by it and it deters people from wanting to go anywhere,” said Aaron Kupper.
Blanton said the Parks Department and police department are working closely together to catch the thieves. He said they just implemented patrols every 30 minutes to monitor each of their trails and parks; to hopefully put a stop to the crime.
Los Lunas Police said they’ve arrested one person in connection with at least one of the break-ins. They said they’re still investigating the others.
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