By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
During October and November there have been 80 cases of vandalism in Tuucumcari – most of which have involved broken windows in vehicles, residences and businesses, police records shows.
Between Thursday and Sunday, the number of cases escalated. And car owners, residents and business operators have became more perturbed and disheartened.
Arnold Marler has become so frustrated – after having two windows in his car broken out in a month’s time – that’s he’s decided to add $500 to the already existing reward to catch and convict the vandals.
Marler, 82, who recently had hip surgery, could also do without the aggravation, he said.
“I don’t think they know how much it’s costing businesses and individuals,” said Frances Cisneros, whose husband Pete Cisneros owns and operates Autos Etc. on South First Street.
Last week, four automobiles and a van at Autos Etc. had windows broken out.
“It costs between $200 and $300 per car to get them fixed,” she said. “This is hurting
the town’s small businesses who are here to serve the community. It makes it really difficult. It’s sad.”
Cooper Glover of Farm Credit had two panes of glass broken at his business.
“It seems to have heightened in the last two months,” said Franklin Jackson, owner and operator of Franklin Jackson Glass. He’s found steel ballbearings, rod bearings and glass marbles among the shards of glass he’s had to remove to make repairs.
“This is just costing the business owners thousands of dollars. Because, unless you have a rider on your insurance policy for vandalism, the normal insurance coverage in New Mexico doesn’t cover it. Most of the costs have been out of pocket costs for the business owners.”
Also, a business property may have glass that was installed 20 to 30 years for $100 and that will today cost 10 times that to have same sized glass installed. The new glass will often have to meet new safety requirements and is more expensive, Jackson said.
Tuucumcari Police Department detective Jack Hendrickson said, “They’re hitting us everywhere. There’s no one location. The only thing I’ve noticed over the weekend is that everything seemed to be on the south.”
No one weapon seems to used exclusively, Hendrickson said. “They use everything from wrist rockets (sling shot), steel shot, pellet guns, BB guns.
“One car had a piece of metal pipe through the window.”
The breaking of the windows has been a source of frustration for about five years, said Hendrickson, noting that his own vehicles have over a period of about 17 years been hit 20 times.
“It seems to come in spurts, then it dwindles down to nothing,” he said. “They don’t have a set pattern and we can’t get a common denominator.”
CrimeStoppers is offering up to $1,000 leading to the arrest and conviction for the vandalism. And an additional $500 is also being offered. To report vandalism:
Call Crimestoppers at 461-3507 to give information anonymously or call Tucumcari police at 461-2160.