South Valley residents targeted by vandal breaking car windows

People in the South Valley were targeted by a thief who went around smashing car windows, stealing anything he could find; but some of the victims had their surveillance cameras rolling.

Over the weekend, police received call after call with the same story: a man shining his flashlight in cars, then breaking in and stealing what was inside.

“They’re just going to these neighborhoods and crashing though everybody’s stuff and leaving,” said Augustus Saavedra of Albuquerque. 

It happened near the Diamond Mesa neighborhood on 98th and Gibson.

“I’m sure he thought there was probably something pretty valuable in there,” Saavedra said.

It was early Sunday morning when Saavedra walked outside to see his truck window smashed to pieces.

“They took probably the least valuable thing they could’ve for them and the most valuable thing for me,” he said.

Inside of the truck was Saavedra’s backpack, which contained all of his school books and months of class notes.

“Thousands of hours of my life were in that backpack. It’s a very important degree for me,” he said.

When Saavedra went to tell his neighbors about the break-in, he quickly found out he wasn’t alone.

“One of my neighbors, they broke into his truck for a single pack of cigarettes. There was nothing else in the vehicle,” he said.

“Every once in a while we will have a cluster of break-ins that target a specific neighborhood,” said APD Officer Simon Drobik. “What happens is these guys go car to car in the neighborhood and look for those cars that aren’t lit and with property inside of them.”

Albuquerque Police say the department received at least five calls from the same area with the same crime. Neighbors hope the man is caught.

“The fact that I have to clean out my truck entirely as if I bought it from the dealership every night is ridiculous,” Saavedra said.

Police are still looking for who the man in the video. They are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Police also want to remind people to never leave anything of value visible in their cars.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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