By Wyatt Goolsby
HOBBS, NM - Hobbs Police need your help to stop a recent crime wave. Officers have reported over 50 burglaries this month alone. On Thursday, NewsWest 9 traveled to Hobbs to see who's getting hit and how many of those crimes could have been prevented.
"Burglaries, theft, any kind of vandalism goes up, specifically, when the teenagers are out of school," Officer Mike Stone, with the Hobbs Police Department, told NewsWest 9.
It's no secret in parts of the Permian Basin, when summer arrives, crime goes up. For Hobbs, it's no different. Try 55 burglaries in the last 16 days.
"A lot of teenagers around Hobbs, they're walking the streets at night. A lot of their parents don't know where they are, and let them roam the street. For example [Wednesday] night, we had a rash of rocks thrown at vehicles and we had numerous windows and windshields busted out of cars all over town," Officer Stone explained.
Stone said despite what some might speculate, police are seeing crimes across town, not just in one or two areas. The burglaries include people breaking into alleys, stealing valuables out of cars, and even smashing in the glass at local businesses. That's exactly what happened Tuesday night at La Michoacana.
"They called me around one o'clock in the morning. When we got there, it was full of police everywhere, and the front door was broken. [The burglars] just smashed it completely," Juana Aguirre, Owner of La Michoacana on Turner Street, explained.
Aguirre said the burglars got away with the cash register, but only with change left inside. She believes her alarm and sensors were a deterrent, but she like many others in Hobbs are still worried.
"I've heard that there's a lot of businesses here in Hobbs that have it going on, and I didn't know until it happened to me," Aguirre said. "We are considering putting up a video camera, so that way at least we can see who it was."
Police are asking everyone to pay close attention by making sure your cars are locked, but also carefully watching windows and your gates if you live near an alley. Officer Stone said he's confident they'll cut down on crime, but they need your help to make sure you're not next.
"Hobbs is a small town. People seem like they still have the small town attitude, which is great, but when it comes to theft, you have to protect yourself and your property," Officer Stone said.
Police told NewsWest 9, video surveillance and alarm systems have been a good way to chase off burglars. Just this month, one resident installed an alarm system for her home. A burglar tried to get in, and when the alarm when off, he ran away. Officer Stone said the price that woman paid for the alarm, probably has already paid itself off.