Women booted after scrapbook scandal at senior center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two women in their 70s are banned from a senior center, accused of stealing scrapbooks. One of the women was even cited for trespassing at the center Thursday, and given the boot.

The ladies received letters from the Tijeras Mayor and Village Attorney demanding they return the scrapbooks in question. But the women swear the mayor has it all wrong.

The homemade scrapbook catalogues memories of good times, birthdays and dances at the Tijeras Senior Center. But Floy Watson and Doris Lark, who says she made the scrapbook, are accused of stealing it.

“It was the most humiliating, the most embarrassing humiliating thing I’ve ever had happen, I’ve never even had a traffic ticket,” said Watson. The 74-year-old is referring to Thursday afternoon. Watson was at the Tijeras Senior Center playing dominoes, when Bernalillo County deputies cited her for criminal trespass and told her to leave.

Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez and the Village attorney sent Watson and Lark letters last month saying the Senior Center surveillance video showed them taking the scrapbooks, and demanded they be returned.

“How could Doris steal her own personal property? How could I help her steal her personal property?” said Watson.

“Its very puzzling – why?” said Lark, who runs a craft class at the Senior Center. Lark told KRQE News 13 not only did she make them and buy all the supplies, but she claims she took the scrapbooks home because CDs and movies had been disappearing from the center, and she didn’t want the scrapbooks stolen too.

“There’s been so much taken and I thought well I don’t want this taken,” said Lark.

When the women didn’t respond to the first letter, a second one came stating, “in light of your taking and then your refusal to return Senior Center property…your participation privileges at the senior center are hereby revoked,” signed, the Mayor of Tijeras Village, Gloria Chavez.

The women said they don’t know why the mayor cares about the scrapbooks. Their guess is it’s political, and that the scrapbooks help promote the senior center.

Either way, they say it isn’t fair. “It just seems so mean, I mean that’s a senior center,” said Watson. She said the center is one of her only places to go and visit with friends.

KRQE News 13 called the mayor’s office about this dispute, and they referred us to the Village attorney, who has not yet returned our call.

The women said they’ll go to court and argue their case to keep the scrapbook, and reverse the ban.

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