RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Someone made it clear they are not a fan of Rio Rancho Police and the city’s speed cameras. Two of the camera-equipped SUV’s used to catch speeders were hit hard by vandals.
Drivers in Rio Rancho said the speed enforcement SUV’s are not their favorite things to see parked on the side of the road.
“Well I’m not too keen of those speed vans being up and down the streets,” said Randy Baca.
“They’re really quite annoying to be honest,” said Julia Dreager.
However, on Sunday, Rio Rancho police woke up to a unit near Northern and Rainbow tagged.
Police said that wasn’t the only vehicle that was vandalized this weekend. They said their unit on Pine Road was also hit.
Taggers spray painted various messages on the speed enforcement vehicles. On one of the vehicles was a message that read, “eff the police,” and a phallic image, which KRQE News 13 had to blur out.
Some drivers said even though these speed SUV’s are annoying, tagging is not the way to protest.
“I don’t think that would be the answer. I mean if people came together and voiced their displeasure I think that would achieve more results,” said Baca.
Rio Rancho Police said they do not know who’s responsible for the vandalism and will be reviewing video shot from the SUV’s cameras to figure out who did it. They said they understand the speed enforcement SUVs are not popular with everyone in Rio Rancho, but encourage residents to show their disapproval in other ways.
“Be more creative with their time. If they don’t like a program or city/government effort, that there’s more creative and more civil ways to go about it,” said Lt. Ken Willey of Rio Rancho Police.
Those SUVs have been cleaned up since Sunday morning. Rio Rancho Police said whoever is responsible will be charged with criminal damage to city property.
Rio Rancho Police have four speed enforcement SUVs that are left parked and unmanned as the cameras nail speeders. They said four more are on the way.