Breaking Bad behavior: Welcome mat for fans has limits

Breaking Bad fans

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Breaking Bad Fan Fest is in full swing, with people coming to Albuquerque from around the world to celebrate the hit AMC series. KRQE News 13 found some of the real life filming locations aren’t so thrilled with the nonstop visits from fans of the show.

If you’ve been by Walter White’s home in the Heights lately, you’ve noticed a few new features. “Private Property” signs, surveillance cameras, and homeowners sitting in the garage, keeping watch.

“We started getting a lot of people who just felt they had the right to come up on the driveway and some idiots tried to throw pizzas on the roof,” said homeowner Fran Padilla, referring to fans who tried to re-enact a famous scene from Season 3 of the hit show.

Padilla loves Breaking Bad and most of its fans. She’d have to, living in the real-life home that belonged to Walter White on the show.

She guesses about 75 cars pull up in front of her house on an average weekend day.

During the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, she counted close to 2,000 cars over the 10-day festival and those are just the ones she saw.

News 13 stopped by mid-afternoon on a Friday and, within minutes, met one tourist from Pennsylvania, and another from the Lone Star state.

“I mentioned something to the lady a minute ago about throwing a pizza on the roof, I don’t think she appreciated that,” said Texas resident David Trout.

Most businesses do appreciate the extra attention, though we spotted a sign in front of Crossroads Motel, asking people to pay for the privilege of taking pictures of it.

“PRIVATE PROPERTY,” the sign reads in all caps. “To take pictures see the office to pay the fee.”

It’s the real-life Albuquerque homes of the fictional characters where things can get dicey.

A few days a week you’ll see the Breaking Bad Tour RV, made to look like Walter White’s RV, driving through the country club area to see Jesse Pinkman’s house.

“We made sure we asked people if it’s okay,” said Frank Sandoval, who owns Breaking Bad RV Tours.

The owners of Jesse’s house told Sandoval they were okay with people driving by as long as people didn’t get out of the RV, knock on the door and ask for Jesse.

Sandoval said the owners of Hank and Marie’s house aren’t thrilled with tourists stopping by.

“They specifically said – it’s a good thing you’re doing, but we don’t really want a tour bus cruising by every day,” Sandoval said. “So we excluded it from our list because we don’t want to be a nuisance.”

With close to 1,000 fans expected to take part in the Breaking Bad Fan Fest this weekend, Padilla says they’re welcome to stop by, but she has a message.

“It’s a neighborhood. People live here and they need to be respectful,” she said. “As long as they’re respectful, we don’t have a problem.”

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