Neighbors want answers from police about burglaries

Posted at: 02/19/2014 10:48 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Neighbors in an upscale Albuquerque community say they've endured two months of terror.   

They believe the same burglar has hit a half-dozen houses and cars since the beginning of the year.

Folks in the Northeast Heights neighborhood also say it was a relief to learn the man was finally caught on camera last weekend.   

But neighbors say cops aren't interested in the evidence they've gathered, and the break-ins keep happening.

"Doing drive-bys, walking up, does another drive-by to see if there's anything happening in the neighborhood," said Wayne Bowser, describing images in surveillance video showing his neighborhood. 

Bowser lives in this Northeast Heights neighborhood near Tramway and Indian School to be close to the mountains and far from the city.

"Comes out and goes off frame out of camera around the back and jumps in the yard," he continued to describe the footage.

Bowser's doorbell rang around 8 o'clock one Sunday morning. He didn't answer and before he knew it a man was in his backyard.

"He was right here at the door, trying to get in," said Bowser.

Bowser came to the door with a gun, and the man left.

Then Bowser went across the street to his neighbor's house.

"He has a full surveillance system," he said.

The man's crime spree was caught on camera, and he's seen casing the neighborhood in a two-tone Cadilliac as witnesses stroll past in broad daylight.

Then, two cameras catch the suspect sprinting away from Bowser's home.

"I saw the dome light on in the car," said Bowser's neighbor Jan Heggem.

Heggem was relieved to know the man was caught on tape. She says he broke into her car, too.

"I saw a person sitting in here," she said.

Next door, Tony Vallejos says his house was hit recently too.

"Nothing ever happens though," said Vallejos. "Nothing happens."

Bowser called police and says APD caught the man, and had him make an I.D.

But then, Bowser says, APD let the man go. Then Bowser remembered the footage.

"I said, 'Hey, ya know I've got this,'" he said. "And (the detective) said well you might as well keep it we're not, the DA isn't going to prosecute."

For Bowser and his neighbors, it feels like no one cares.

"I think it should be tied to the rest of these crimes, and I want the police to give me an answer what they're doing," he said.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 called APD with the date, time and location of this incident, and asked why the detective working the case wasn't interested in the surveillance footage.     

A spokesman for the department tells KOB he was unable to get in touch with that detective Wednesday.