Warm weather brings patio furniture thieves

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Most people have seen flyers for missing pets in the neighborhood, but what about missing furniture? An 11-year-old girl is calling out whoever took her dad’s antique bench from the front of their house.

It’s getting warmer out which means more people are bringing furniture outside. But, it can often go missing fast, and people might be surprised where it can end up.

“Well it doesn’t feel very good when it happens to you,” said Tanya Granados, who lives in northeast Albuquerque.

People have had chairs, tables, entire patio sets taken.

“My mom’s had a concrete bird bath that was very heavy, and some heavy pots stolen from the front of her house,” said Granados.

This week, someone posted a flyer in northeast Albuquerque, which reads, “To the lady in the blue PT Cruiser, please return our milk bench…it wasn’t free or for sale.”

Turns out, a little girl was using her dad’s antique bench to sell cookies in front of her house. When she went inside to count her money, the bench was taken.

The owners think the driver of the PT Cruiser might have thought the bench was free.

But several people have had patio furniture stolen and might be surprised where their things can end up.

“We actually get people attempting to sell at our stores on a daily basis, probably 3,4,5 times in a day,” said Pedro Moreno Sr., Owner of Motique Antiques in Nob Hill. He said people come in daily attempting to make shady sales.

Moreno’s new upscale consignment shop is an expansion of his antique store, U Neek Findings.

“They’ll try us and then the next door and then next door and then next door, and sometimes they have a truck full of furniture,” said Moreno.

He said it’s often obvious if items are stolen. He keeps copies of identification from each seller. Moreno said that alone can cause people to run away.

“They will tell you for example, ‘I’m gonna go to the car and get my license, and you never see them back,” Moreno told News 13.

“If you walk into a store that has over a million items in inventory, which most of these type of businesses do, you will find something that was not rightfully acquired,” Moreno said. “And many times not even the owners or the dealer in that space know that that item was taken from somebody else.”

In this case, the little girl is also using sidewalk chalk messages to try and get her dad’s bench back.

Neighbors can sympathize. “Sometimes those items can be pretty expensive, and you like the front of your house to look attractive and nice, and so it’s upsetting,” said Granados.

Most antique stores News 13 spoke with said they do the same thing and keep track of each person’s information they buy from. If items are reported stolen, that information will be turned over to police.

A neighbor said she saw a woman in a PT Crusier load up the bench.

The family didn’t want to go on camera, they just hope the bench will be returned.

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