Thieves get creative, rip out a storefront for welding equipment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves are going to great lengths to break into this store, striking twice in the span of a few months.

Thieves tried to break into High Desert Industrial Supply, a welding supply store, a few months ago and failed.

“The wrought iron door inside, and they couldn’t pry that open, they couldn’t get into it,” said Gilbert Griego, owner of the High Desert Industrial Supply.

But thieves got another idea and hit again early Saturday morning.

“Half the storefront was taken out,” said Griego. “There’s the skid marks where they were spinning their tires to rip the rod iron out.”

This time getting creative, and successfully breaking in.

“They tied off with a chain or something and ripped everything out,” said Griego

The High Desert Industrial Supply store at the corner of Candelaria and Princeton sells welding equipment and tools.

“They took welders from us, they took numerous carts from us, they took chop saws, they took tools,” said Griego.

That’s what the thieves were after, but how valuable is this type of equipment?

“The welders that we carry range anywhere from like $1,200 to $6,000,” said Griego.

The owner of the shop said he thinks criminals are making a quick turn on these items at construction sites and can make a couple hundred dollars.

“They might go to job sites where there’s other welders and say hey, I have a welder over here,” said Griego.

The owner said his store is not the only one being hit. He is now installing surveillance cameras.

“For us, it’s a big loss.”

The owner said several other stores on this street have also been hit in recent months. He is talking to neighboring businesses in hopes of starting a neighborhood watch program. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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