ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque business owner is fed up with thieves continuing to target him and amass thousands of dollars in damages. He says it seems no matter what they do, the criminals keep coming back.
In the past few months, thieves have taken everything from catalytic converters and aluminum to an entire RV. Business owner Dan Mowery says the police are not doing enough to catch the crooks.
Mowery’s interest in cars began when he was fixing them while he was a student. Decades later, he kept it going. “It was just cars that I had collected, bought and sold, and the RVs were supposed to be bought and sold and repaired,” Mowery said. “I often buy things that don’t work, make them work and renovate them.”
Mowery is a co-owner of Rader Markise and Upholstery near Paseo del Norte and Jefferson. Behind the shop he has a fenced-in storage yard filled with his fixer tops, as well as a warehouse for the awning shop. It was the perfect target for thieves.
“We found that thieves had been in a warehouse for about a week dismantling parts of cars,” Mowery said. “Including catalytic converters from 14 or 15 cars, batteries from maybe 20 cars, and radiators from a dozen or more cars.”
The crooks also broke into the semi-finished products they were using as storage, along with four mobile homes to remove them for their catalysts and copper. They also took away aluminum frames that were needed for the company. They also left hypodermic needles in the yard and a jump box that would likely have been used to steal one of the cars.
One of Mowery’s employees saw her lift off through a hole in the fence and was given her license plate, but it wasn’t enough to prevent her from returning.
“One of the worst things was that they took a set of 30 keys from a keyboard that we identified that was in the yard of all of the vehicles. Replacing car keys with computer keys these days is quite expensive, ”says Mowery. “They came back a week later and stole a motor home and a car trailer.”
Overall, according to Mowery, the thieves caused at least $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 in damage. Since the cars were bought to be repaired and turned over, much was uninsured, which meant thousands of dollars.
“You work hard as an individual all your life and you collect some things and these people can just take them with them,” Mowery said. “There doesn’t seem to be any justification for catching them.”
Mowery has filed several reports with the Albuquerque Police Department and has made several follow-up calls with no response. He says even though he understands that the department is overwhelmed with scarce staff, it’s still frustrating.
“We’re going to the Wild West pretty soon here in Albuquerque, where we just have to defend ourselves,” said Mowery. “It’s unhappy.”
Mowery says he has now set up surveillance cameras, but they haven’t caught anything yet. Mowery also said a second car trailer was recently picked up. KRQE News 13 reached out to APD to see if there were any updates on the cases but received no feedback.