LAS ANIMAS – People in this Lower Arkansas Valley community are worried for their property and safety after a rash of recent break-ins. According to Bent County Sheriff David Encinias, at least 19 break-ins were reported in a two-week span beginning December 17.
Targets for the break-ins run the gamut — homes, businesses, government buildings, even the town’s cemetery. An ATV equipped with a plow valued at at least $15,000 was reported stolen Monday from a building at the Bent County / Las Animas Cemetery. The town’s City Hall was hit on Christmas Day, causing damage inside the building and the temporary ceasing of some municipal services. Other locations targeted include a laundromat, a chiropractor’s office, an auto parts store, the Fort Lyon Canal Company offices, and the VFW Hall.
Surveillance video captured a would-be burglar destroying a security camera at the town’s VFW post. “I think they’re just breaking in, looking for mostly cash-value, probably for the use of purchasing narcotics,” Encinias said.
Encinias says someone in Las Animas probably knows who’s responsible for the break-ins, but may be hesitant to come forward with the incriminating information, fearing possible retaliation, despite the fact it appears whoever is responsible is not armed. Anonymous tips can be submitted via Tip411.