ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — New Mexicans know all about the fear of putting the furniture you love out on the porch and just hoping it doesn’t disappear.
An Albuquerque woman’s prized chairs disappeared, but unlike many others, she got them back through a pretty unlikely string of events.
“Yeah, I really love the chairs,” said Albuquerque resident Carrie Murphy.
For Murphy, it’s little things like chairs on a patio that she appreciates about living in New Mexico. She recently moved from the east coast.
“When we moved here to Albuquerque, I was really excited about having a porch and I was like I’m going to get some awesome porch chairs,” said Murphy.
So last month when her vintage 1940-50’s era chair set disappeared, you can guess how she felt.
“I was definitely sad. I drove around the neighborhood and looked and thought maybe teenagers or somebody had maybe stolen them and thrown them out or something,” said Murphy.
No chairs turned up though. Murphy filed a police report next, but didn’t have much hope.
“It’s porch chairs, I’m never going to see them again,” said Murphy.
And that’s how the story could have ended. However, Murphy thought her neighbors should know there was a thief lurking.
“Just a crime alert, I didn’t think anybody would know where they were, just so that people in the neighborhood know,” said Murphy.
She posted about the theft on a website called NextDoor.com. The relatively new social network gives neighborhoods a place where they can post to a private message board that only specific neighborhoods can see.
“I didn’t think that it would have me get the chairs back,” said Murphy.
But as it turns out, Murphy was wrong. She hadn’t met Cinthia Singleton.
“I was like, oh my God,” chuckled Singleton. “Those… I think those are them.”
Singleton saw the missing chair post and recognized the description. It matched two chairs sitting right outside the “Town House Antique Mall” on Central just up from Nob Hill.
“I had a feeling she should check them out,” said Singleton.
Singleton was right.
“They were clearly our chairs,” said Murphy.
The store owner, Bob Herrington says he bought them from a trusted seller who got them from someone else.
“Apologized to them and said you know you’re free to take them home with you,” said Herrington.
It’s an outcome Carrie never expected, all thanks to social media.
“And yeah, I’m happy to have my chairs back,” said Murphy.
The shop where the stolen chairs were found says it catalogues all of its purchases, only buys from people they trust and photo copies the identification of all their sellers. In this case, the shop owner says he alerted the chair seller to watch his future buys.