ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves used a garage door opener to break into a garage and grab what they could. Their not-so-smooth getaway and the homeowner’s reaction was all caught on camera.
“It is very scary,” Donna Stirling said. She said she’s still in disbelief after what happened to her neighbors in the middle of the night on their quiet block near Juan Tabo and Southern.
Home surveillance video from 3:30 a.m. captured four guys run into a driveway, then break into a truck.
One of them rifled around for a while inside the truck with a flashlight, and eventually walked away with a garage door opener.
“The first question you ask is why? Why do this to people that are trying to live in peace?” Stirling said.
Video shows the young men open up the garage and let themselves inside.
One of them tried the handle of another vehicle parked inside the garage. The four of them snoop around, grab what they can, and run off.
The noise and security light was enough to wake the homeowner, who walked out of his house with his gun drawn.
Possibly spooked by the gun, the suspect’s car came to a screeching halt after crashing into a parked car.
As the suspects crawled out of the overturned car, the homeowner took cover and called police.
Neighbors said the suspects were driving another neighbor’s stolen Subaru, and left it smashed and flipped over in the street.
The thieves managed to run away before police arrived.
“It angers me and it’s depressing,” Sterling said. “And if they’re young kids, where are their parents? Where are the parents to guide their kids?”
The scene shown on surveillance is eerily similar to what happened last Summer. Six teens ages 14 to 17 now face murder charges after a night of “mobbing,” breaking into cars and homes in June 2015.
When local bartender Steven Gerecke confronted the teens in his driveway, police said he was shot by a gun-toting 16-year-old.
In this case, the homeowner noticed later on his own surveillance footage that one of the young men was carrying a gun.
Neighbors are thankful no one was hurt, and want the young men in jail.
“Is it gonna take somebody really getting hurt or somebody getting killed next time?” Stirling asked.
Albuquerque police are hoping the surveillance video reaches someone who knows the suspects.
“Even if it is young kids who maybe this is their first time doing that, it needs to stop now,” said Celina Espinoza, spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department. “We don’t want it to escalate.”
APD does not advise anyone to confront potential thieves. “It’s better not to confront that person. Property can be replaced, people cannot, so call police and let us deal with it,” Espinoza added.
The homeowner didn’t want to talk on camera, but he said no gunshots were fired.
A family member said the thieves did take a gas stove from the garage, but police found that after they crashed their getaway car.
Neighbors believe there were six people in total, four who went into the garage and two others in a getaway car. If anyone recognizes them, they’re asked to call 242-COPS.