--2 Blue Corn: Criminal Masterminds? Not Exactly…
Aug. 24, 2017
Most local lawbreakers don’t have the star power of Billy the Kid, jailed briefly in Santa Fe on his way to becoming notorious.
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True Crime!

Criminal Masterminds? Not Exactly…

August 27, 2013, 10:00 pm
By Robert Basler

Some folks in Santa Fe like to think we’ve got really hard-ass criminals, what with our colorful heritage. After all, we once had Billy the Kid locked up here.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but a lot of our modern local crooks would never make it through Crime 101. I mean, you give some of them a brick and a car window, and it takes them 45 minutes to come up with a plan.

The daily Police Notes in the newspaper usually make me laugh out loud. My wife will hear me and say, “What are those crazy rapscallions up to now?”

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I’ve had some run-ins with the law here myself.

Awhile back, I was arrested for Failure to Display a Prominent Tattoo. More recently, I was booked on Suspicion of Not Owning a Pickup Truck. These are mistakes I will just have to live with.

Some of Santa Fe’s scalawags and malefactors are so low-rent that I sincerely hope they have a second income, like maybe elected office, to tide them over between crimes.

Of course, the so-called crime victims often don’t seem like the sharpest knives in the drawer, either.

Let’s dip into some recent Police Notes from The New Mexican, and see what we find. I am not making these up.

• A purse containing debit and credit cards, a birth certificate and a Social Security card was stolen from an unlocked car in the 1800 block of Mann Street between 5 and 5:50 p.m. Tuesday.

You see what I’m talking about?

• A thief broke into a 2012 Mercedes C300 parked in the 3600 block of Cerrillos Road between 9 a.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday and stole a silver necklace valued at $1,500.

“That's right, honey. We’ll just leave our new Mercedes parked with a $1,500 necklace in it for, oh, 34 hours straight. What could go wrong?”

Then there were the four paintings on consignment at a Canyon Road gallery. According to the police report, the paintings  “disappeared sometime within the last six years.”

Yes. Six years. “Hey, Lamar! You seen them paintings? I know they were just here in 2007….”

It goes on and on. A woman reported a handgun was stolen from a car while it was at a mechanic’s shop. I’ll pause here so you can picture the sort of rocket scientist who drops off a car with a gun still in it.

In the year’s wurst crime, a man reported that a former employee took his sausage-stuffing machine and refused to return it.

Also in the “Say, What Are You Gonna Do With That, Anyway?” department, someone broke into a treatment services center and stole several urine samples.

Urine. Samples. Not making it up.

Speaking of hard-to-fence items, a Santa Fe County traffic counting machine located off Los Pinos Road was stolen, so now criminals are going to be able to count traffic themselves, in order to… um, I have no idea.

I don’t know how many of these crimes are ever solved. Checking on that is too much like work. I DO know that I, myself, probably could have solved some of them, especially this gem:

• Someone broke into a house off Camino Felix in the Pojoaque area at about 8 a.m. Monday and set on fire a love letter belonging to a woman in the house, stomped the fire out, then fled the area.

And oh, yeah. I think I could have solved that big urine heist, too.

Robert Basler worked for Reuters in the US and Asia as an editor, reporter, manager and blogger. He now lives in Santa Fe with his wife, and way too many rescued dogs and cats. Blue Corn appears twice a month. Email the author: bluecorn@sfreporter.com




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