NM Hunting and Theft Issues

Rzrbk

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Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
322
Ok, another question for you long-time NM hunters. I'm trying to get a feel for my new home State.

I've lived in many parts of the country and have never had so many people warn me of theft issues as when I moved to NM. Moving to NM, my concern over theft quickly turned to almost panic as all new acquaintances immediately started warning me about rampant theft (at least in Albuquerque area). I met people on the hiking trails who would immediately warn me about theft when they learned I was new in the area. Usually they warned me two or three times and say "nothing is safe", "if you think it's safe..., it's not. Folks told me about people taking groceries from their cart while they were putting them in the trunk. My insurance agent said that thieves steal ANY vehicle...., it doesn't have to be a certain make or model, or even a nice car. A neighbor here had someone pull into their yard at night, hook up their RV and drive away never to be seen again. I had fresh tire tracks in the snow pulling up to my camper at the same time although I had a hitch lock. Another acquaintance had their camper taken while they were at a campsite (although that happened in S. CO).

So......, I've been pretty concerned when I'm hunting in NM about whether my stuff will get stolen or not. Based on the theft situation in Albuquerque, I worry about the rest of the State. Will my truck be broken into. Will thieves come into my camp and take anything not bolted down? Do thieves patrol hunting areas looking for opportunities? Please advise if you have experience leaving your camp/vehicle unattended in NM backcountry areas.

In California, I once had someone break into my truck while I was parked quail hunting. Also, in California someone burned a couple of vehicles (luckily not mine) that were parked at a wilderness trailhead parking lot. That's been my only bad experience to date.

Is this something I should be particularly concerned about in NM????
 

hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
4,686
Location
SW NM
Lived here for 12 years & have been coming to hunt & explore since 1963. Never had a real problem outside of Albacrackie area,but I'm real cautious too.
Left my whole camp w/truck in SW many times.
But I also started locking my gate to the ranch in the last 2 years.
 

JoMo

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Oct 30, 2016
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99
Location
Colorado
Be smart like you always are and you should be good. I grew up in the “burque” and still spend a good amount of time in NM and never had any issues. I don’t put stickers on my truck of all of the cool (and expensive) brands of equipment that may be inside and keep things out of sight. I do this whether I am in NM or anywhere else. There is always a chance but hopefully with some common sense you can avoid being a target.
 

Laelkhunter

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Dec 6, 2014
Messages
797
Location
New Orleans, La.
I quit putting Swarovski, Weatherby, and any hunting stickers on my truck a few years ago. I don't have any Yeti coolers either. My 30 year old Coleman coolers are not attractive to even the most desperate thieves, but they would knock out all of my windows for $1500 worth of Yeti's.
 
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Rzrbck918

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Aug 13, 2016
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1,359
Location
Bixby Oklahoma
I've hunted in NM every October/November for the last 7 years and haven't had any issues with theft from trailheads. However, these are not close to populated areas and require some driving effort to access. Anything I don't want to carry deep, I cache a couple hundred yards uphill. I don't leave anything in my truck at trailheads and I leave it unlocked. Hopefully saves a window.
 

WyoDoug

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Apr 8, 2019
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Cheyenne, Wyoming
This happens in Wyoming too. A group of NR hunters stopped at a Casper motel for the night and left hunting stuff in their truck. When they woke up in the AM, everything was gone, including rifles. Casper police were kind enough to do some work to get loaner equipment for them which that group actually returned after their hunt.
 

NMGuy

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Joined
Aug 12, 2017
Messages
161
Location
Roswell, NM
ABQ definitely has a significant theft issue. I haven't run into any issues out in the wilderness where I've hunted, although I've heard some northern units have issues. As others have said, don't advertise what you've got and you'll likely be fine. I've seen guys with camps set up that had generators, yetis and other expensive stuff out in the open all day and it didn't seem to grow legs and walk away from them.
 

gburk

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Jan 10, 2020
Messages
69
I’ve been in a lot of places but I will say... the Walmart in silver city is s k e t c h y at night. I tend to babysit the vehicle while the boys take care of shopping.
 

Rzrbk

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Jan 10, 2021
Messages
322
It sounds like it's more of an Albuquerque issue than a NM issue. This Travel Safe - Abroad website description of Albuquerque reinforces that fact.

Your gear is never totally safe, but I feel better about it after hearing from you all. Thanks!
 

Kryos73

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Apr 21, 2021
Messages
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Haven't had any trouble out in the wilderness or national forests. Your normal precautions aside I can't really think of any "extra" safety measures. Be safe and best of luck out there.
 

Chingon

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Apr 3, 2021
Messages
6
Lifelong ABQ resident here. I've had one vehicle stolen/burglarized, but first time was my fault (red Mustang convertible with nice stereo and left the top down) and second time it was stolen from a high theft area. Crime in ABQ is hyper-concentrated - almost guaranteed in the "warzone" area, but drops off exponentially away from that. I frequently (accidentally) leave my garage door open and never had issues.

I will say that some locals statewide (especially northern NM) tend to loathe out of state plates, so if you're camped out hunting in a trophy unit with Texas plates.... just make sure to appear as empty/boring as possible.
 

Letthemgrow

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Aug 8, 2017
Messages
121
Stopped in Albuquerque on my way back from an Oryx hunt two years ago. The front desk lady at the hotel told me not to leave any valuables in the vehicle. I kind of joked with her about it, being that the parking lot was small, well lit and you could see my truck from her desk, through the lobby.
But, I listened and took everything out of my truck and of course locked it.
When I went outside in the morning both of my sliders on my canopy had fingerprint marks on them from someone trying to push them open.
 

Jason73

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Nov 4, 2020
Messages
258
Been visiting New Mexico for last 8 years. Harley parked at the hotel for a weekend, never touched. Have stayed downtown Albuquerque multiple times and never had vehicle problems. Hunted and camped in Southern New Mexico, never had an issue. Actually just got back last week and never locked the camper door while out playing. No problems. I like New Mexico so much I bought a lot in a southern community and if construction materials go down in cost, I will build in a year. It's certainly not anything like Cabrini Green.
 

Pwojton

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Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
28
Abq has a reputation for high theft rates, but we haven't had any issues out hunting or leaving stuff at camp. There's always a chance, but I wouldn't sweat it too much.
 

grizzly_

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Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
868
The KOA in Albuquerque is fully gated with a night watchman.

I knew a guy on the Gila that would take all valuables from his truck and leave it unlocked with a chain from the brake pedal to the steering wheel. That way they'd open the door instead of breaking a window, find there was nothing there and leave it alone.
 

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