Thieves stealing history from 1800’s ABQ home


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – He’s trying his best to preserve Albuquerque’s past, but a man who’s invested tens of thousands of dollars to maintain a historic 1800’s era home says thieves are trying to ruin it. Thieves recently ran off with a pricey antique that the homeowner is now hoping someone will spot.

From house to house, there’s a lot of history in Albuquerque’s Huning Highlands neighborhood east of downtown. But for Jim Maddox, one home has always stood out.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Maddox, referring to his home. “It’s one you keep, you don’t sell this house.”

Jim owns an 1880’s-era, Victorian style home on Walter Avenue between Silver and Central. He’s now pouring a lot of money into a complete renovation while preserving the home’s historic past.

“We haven’t changed any rooms around and we have all the casing still in place,” said Maddox, while pointing to the door frames.

The frames are made of wood from the home’s original construction and feature hand-carved patterns. Even most of the hardwood floor is from the home’s original construction, or decades old.

Nearly every step inside is eye-catching all the way up to the home’s castle like tower. The home even caught Hollywood film crew’s attention in 2005.

“There was a movie filmed here, ‘Suspect Zero’” said Maddox. “And when they filmed it they brought so much stuff in here and they had this attic full of stuff.”

There is a lot to preserve inside and Jim is trying his best to save it.

“It’s one of a kind and it deserves to be a good house,” said Maddox.

However, Jim is now facing a big hurdle.

“We’ve had people taking things on the weekend,” said Maddox.

Over the last few weeks, thieves have hit the house more than once taking power tools, wrought iron security bars, lumber, copper wire and more.

“You know we’ve probably lost 4 or 5 thousand dollars worth of stuff here,” said Maddox.

While they haven’t caused much damage, Jim says the thieves have picked through his house. He says more recently they stole a big piece of the home’s history.

“They took a Chambers range, a 1930’s Chambers range,” said Maddox.

Maddox had hoped to find a new home for the historic stove, but now it’s gone. Neighbors say they’ve had the same type of thing happen. Thieves took Michael Gutierrez’s iron radiator sometime in the last year.

“These items that you know people cherish,” said Gutierrez.

Jim says the thieves won’t stop him from rebuilding the home, but he’s hoping they don’t ruin what he’s trying to preserve.

“A lot of people spend a lot of time taking care of their property and making it really nice,” said Maddox.

Jim says the stolen Chambers Stove weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds and would take at least two to four people to move. He says whatever truck is hauling it around would probably be noticeably weighed down.

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