Pajarito Cliffs County Facilities Targeted For Theft

Los Alamos County Pajarito Cliffs Site facilities are being targeted for theft. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Los Alamos Daily Post

The Los Alamos Police Department is investigating a series of incidents involving burglary and theft at the Los Alamos County Pajarito Cliffs Site facilities at 101 Camino Entrada, east of the airport, including the theft of a County truck between 3 and 4 a.m. Thursday.

The truck, a Ford F350 with a flat bed and a dump feature has been recovered and now secured in a shop at the Pajarito Cliffs location.

LAPD Cmdr. Preston Ballew told the Los Alamos Daily Post Monday that it was believed the keys had been left in the truck. He said the thief or thieves probably climbed the fence into the area where the vehicles are kept overnight. The truck was taken from the area by crashing it through the automatic gate.

Ballew said LAPD stepped up the frequency of patrols in the Pajarito Cliffs area following a Jan. 8 break-in at a nearby County building and officers had patrolled the area as late as 3 a.m. Thursday, which is how the time of the theft was determined.

He said someone called the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office late Sunday and reported the location of the truck. He confirmed that the truck was recovered Monday morning from an arroyo in a remote part of the Pojoaque Valley.

Detectives from LAPD’s Investigations Division brought the truck back to Los Alamos Monday morning. It had not been damaged but County decals had been removed from the doors, Ballew said.

Police also are investigating activity at the County facility discovered overnight Friday by LAPD patrol  officers. LAPD and County officials were reviewing video surveillance of the property Monday morning.

On Jan. 8, LAPD issued a public request for assistance in identifying two suspects involved in a burglary case of a County facility. Photos and video footage from the scene were provided and a reward of $400 was offered for information. Although the location of the County facility was not named at that time, Ballew confirmed Monday that the burglary was at a Pajarito Cliffs building. To date, no leads have been received and the reward is still being offered, Ballew said.

A County employee at the Pajarito Cliffs site told the Los Alamos Daily Post late Monday that the facilities are locked up “tighter than a drum”. County Public Works Director Philo Shelton declined to comment on allegations of poor security at the site on the grounds that LAPD is still investigating the incidents.

He said anyone with information on any of the three incidents can call Los Alamos Crime Stoppers, 505.662.8282 or LAPD Dispatch, 505.662.8222. Reporting individuals can remain anonymous.

To view the Jan. 8 video and photos, click here.