LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - The city of Las Cruces has ordered the Kilby Motel on Main Street to operate at a reduced capacity after portions of the motel did not meet minimum standards for occupancy, according to Mayor Ken Miyagishima.
In the meantime, business owners say occupants from the motel are vandalizing stores across the troubled El Paseo corridor.
"They're coming from the Kilby," said Debbie Caldwell of Little Friends Child Care. "We have video where they're all coming through. They cut the fence. They come down the sides of the building (and) bust windows."
"It's definitely contributing to the crime in the area," said Las Cruces Police Chief Miguel Dominguez of the Kilby Motel. "It's concerning to us, so we are putting resources constantly in the area."
Chief Dominguez highlighted a large surveillance device that was placed south of the motel last Thursday with cameras that monitor the area around the clock.
Owner Rosendo Reyes said he is working to fix rooms in the motel that are a "little deteriorated." He said he hasn't seen drugs in the building at all. Residents rent rooms for $30 a night.
"I think a lot of the problems are coming from visitors of the tenants," Reyes said in Spanish. "They come and I think they're not doing good things. I've started to get them out and hopefully they'll go."
He also questioned whether business owners could prove that the people vandalizing their buildings are Kilby Motel occupants.
"People have to identify someone who commits a crime," Reyes said. "They can't just say that they're my clients and wash their hands of it. What they need to do is identify those who robbed them and maybe they'll see they're not even people who stay at my place."