Rader Awning and Padding repeated theft target
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – An Albuquerque business owner is fed up after thieves continue to target him, racking up thousands of dollars in damages. He says it seems that whatever they do, criminals keep coming back.
In the past two months, thieves have blown away with everything from catalytic converters and aluminum to an entire RV. Company owner Dan Mowery says police aren’t doing enough to catch crooks.
Mowery’s interest in cars began when he repaired them during his college days. Decades later, he continued. “These were just cars that I had picked up, bought and sold and the RVs had to buy and sell and fix,” Mowery said. “I buy things that don’t often work, I make them work and I fix them.”
Mowery is co-owner of Rader Awning and Upholstery near Paseo del Norte and Jefferson. Behind the business, he has a fenced-in storage yard filled with his renovators as well as storage space for the awning business. He ended up being the perfect target for thieves.
“We identified thieves had been in a storage yard for about a week, dismantling parts of cars,” Mowery said. “Including catalytic converters on 14 or 15 cars, batteries on maybe 20 cars, and radiators on a dozen or more cars.”
The crooks also broke into the semi-trailers they used for storage, as well as four RVs, stripping them for their catalytic converters and copper. They also took the necessary aluminum frames for the business. They also left hypodermic needles in the yard and a jump box that was most likely used to steal one of the cars.
One of Mowery’s employees saw them take off through a hole in the fence and got their license plate number, but that wasn’t enough to keep them from returning.
“One of the worst things was that they removed a set of 30 keys from a keyboard that we identified that was in the backyard of all the vehicles. Replacing vehicle keys these days with computer keys is quite expensive, ”Mowery said. “They came back a week later and stole an RV and a car trailer. “
Overall, Mowery says the thieves caused at least $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 in damage. Because cars were bought to repair and return, much of it was uninsured, which meant thousands of dollars down the drain.
“You work hard as an individual all your life and collect certain things and these people can just take them away,” Mowery said. “There doesn’t seem to be any justification for trying to catch them.”
Mowery filed a few reports with the Albuquerque Police Department and made several unanswered follow-up calls. He says even though he understands the department is overwhelmed with a small staff, it’s still frustrating.
“We’re going to be entering the Wild West soon here in Albuquerque where we’ll just have to defend ourselves,” Mowery said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Mowery says he has since installed security cameras but they haven’t picked up anything yet. Mowery also said a second car trailer was recently taken. KRQE News 13 has contacted APD to see if there are any updates on the cases but has not received a response.