Repeated break-ins frustrate business owners along El Paseo Corridor

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — A Las Cruces business manager is upset over repeated business break-ins.

The Safe-Haven Animal Sanctuary thrift store was broken into over the weekend. This is the second break-in in six months, costing thousands of dollars in damage.

It’s a trend that ABC-7 learned has become common in the El Paseo Corridor, a one-mile business strip in the south center of the city stretching from South Main Street to Boutz Road.

Business owners, along this strip, have all been victimized and are frustrated. Safe Haven says it’s costing them business, repair costs, puts shoppers’ safety at risk and even impacts insurance premiums.

“I have the safety of my employees is first and foremost. We’re mostly female at the store here. Not knowing what was on the inside when we got here. It would have been a real comfort to have a police officer or two to walk through the property with us. We didn’t know what to expect. We know there’s a lot of drug use in the area. So that really concerns us that we might be dealing with somebody who’s not in the right frame of mind,” said Laura O’Connor, Exec Dir. Safe Haven Animal.

“I can’t imagine the frustration that they’re going through. I know if I had a business there, I’d be looking for our city government to help protect my investment,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

One photo shared with ABC-7 taken from a store security camera shows a man Safe Haven says is a person of interest in one break-in. If you recognize this person, the store management asks that you contact police.

Meanwhile, the Mayor wants residents to share their problems about crime along the El Paseo corridor by calling 575-541-2076 or by emailing Mayor Miyagishima at [email protected] so he can share the information with the city council.

ABC-7 has reached out to the Las Cruces police department.