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Business break-ins skyrocket almost 300% in Las Cruces during pandemic

las cruces theft
Five thieves steal thousands of dollars worth of goods from Play It Again Sports in Las Cruces in this surveillance image.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- After losing $9,000 worth of property to three separate burglaries, the owner of Galaxy Gaming Lounge is choosing to sleep on his property.

"Since that third time, I've been living here," said Mario Sauceda. "That's the only way (to prevent it). Being here 24/7."

Sauceda told ABC-7 that all three burglaries happened during the state's mandated closures of his business, which is deemed non-essential during the pandemic.

"Every time the governor said, 'We're going to shut down the businesses,' the next day I would show up and everything was gone,'" Sauceda said.

Non-residential burglaries increased by 291% this year, according to the Las Cruces Police Department. Because of the public health crisis, July was the last month the data was publicly available.

The owners of Play it Again Sports told ABC-7 that their business was burglarized twice during the pandemic.

"This last break-in, we literally saw the guy walk up and break into the store," said Justin Glick, who owns the business with his wife.

"The local criminals really took that as an opportunity to start vandalizing businesses," said Alysha Glick. "During the first shutdown and the second shutdown, we were just one of so many local businesses to be targeted."

On top of the two burglaries and the state's closure of the business, Play it Again Sports has seen plummeting profits with the cancelation of school and city sports.

"Trying to operate a sporting goods store for a whole year in a state where sports have been essentially illegal, that's a real challenge," Alysha Glick said.

A Las Cruces police spokesman applauded the businesses that have installed security systems. He said police have patrolled the parking lots of businesses that are closed, but officers "can't be at all places at all times."

"We can't be private security guards," added LCPD's Dan Trujillo.

Biz/Tech / New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.



      1. Yes Fero2a is one big idiot posing as DanLanders. Funny how he does not blame governor abbott for the spike in virus deaths in our city. These trumptards never look in a mirror that is why they live in a very delusional world. Before the KKKVIA trolls get the diapers in a wad, myself and Mark T do not condone any of these break ins.

  1. Stay safe Governor Grisham. Some sound politically hostile. Fortunately You see the bigger picture. ‘People lives matter over property value’ A perspective bestowed only upon us Democrats apparently.

      1. Thanks to the orange buffoon, that’s highly unlikely. Republicans have been tainted for the foreseeable future because of his disastrous presidency.

    1. Here are your BLMers hard at work foreord. No whities or Christians among them. Why is that you think? Oh I forgot. You don’t think. You just go along with the other racist goons.

  2. People are desperate and out of work thanks to the failed orange buffoon administration. The orange buffoon’s failure to even recognize that the pandemic is the reason the economy is failing is another failure. Where is he today? Still lying about the election being rigged instead of caring for the American people. Crime is up everywhere. Not just in Las Cruces.

    1. Crime is up in every blue state and blue city. Nothing to do with the current administration. It is the local authorities that need to protect the local citizen. But they are too busy shutting down businesses with baseless reasons. No science behind any of their stupid moves. Just like turner’s ridiculous assumptions about Trump. If it was biden claiming the election being rigged, comrade turner would be in the forefront of accusing Mr Trump of fixing the election.

        1. Maga 2020 (change your name, you lost honey) it was no hoax. Wait until the the orange hot air balloon goes to prison after this God awful presidency (the worst by a lot of experts). Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon…

          1. Uh yes it was. Both confirmed hoaxes. Hillary paying for the fake dossier however was the real collusion and Biden-s quid pro quo with Ukraine was the real corruption. Facts that democrats hate and will never admit.

        2. Neither were hoaxes. There was just no evidence of a crime except for the orange buffoon’s attempt to bribe the president of Ukraine. He should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice on that but, I think Sleepy Joe is going to ask his justice department to let him slide.

  3. MAGA isn’t going away. Get used to it. MAGA is now the term for standing up to government corruption and lies. We are getting stronger by the day. MAGA will continue to fight against Biden and his tyranny.

  4. this is a result of trump going after the criminals in ABQ….operation legend has forced criminals out of Abq and into Cruces. Hopefully the cops start using deadly force on these career criminals that NOBODY in Cruces wants around

  5. not only business break it’s but auto thefts, home break in’s, violent crime have all gone up by 300%….if you doubt it go to the lcpd Facebook page and read on it. Large organized groups have moved out of Abq and into southern NM.

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