EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It’s being called the tip of the iceberg in new home thefts. Break-ins that are happening in El Paso and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
According to Ray Adauto, who is the Executive VP of the El Paso Association of Builders, vandalism has been happening in new home construction areas around El Paso. In addition, Adauto said, they are also seeing theft occur.
One of the break-ins was captured on video and shows what appears to be teenagers kicking in the door to a model home located in far East El Paso. In the video the teens did not appear to show any shock, instead they ran inside the model home, laughing after the door was kicked in.
Adauto said it appears as though the teenagers in the video knew what they were doing,
“For the kid to know exactly where to hit the door, where to break in, they could be responsible for other break ins, or they could also be responsible for other vandalism.”
At one point in the video of the break-in, the suspects realize there is a camera in the home. They then cover their faces and run out of the home.
“That’s the beauty of it,” Adauto said, “It’s too late because they [got] caught from the outside [camera] and some of them turn right into the camera without realizing. And that goes to show, they may not have been thinking about it, but it was planned.”
Adauto said that along with vandalism, property is being stolen and the costs to replace materials or fix the damage is passed along to consumers,
“Kids will go in and they’ll grafitti everything, steal appliances, take out wiring, copper theft is still something that we deal with. The builder has to pay for the repairs, has to pay for all this stuff that gets done. That increases cost and that cost is shared with the consumer eventually.”Ray Adauto, Executive VP of the El Paso Association of Builders
According to Adauto, these types of middle of the night break-ins are happening in the Lower Valley, on the West side and even the Upper Valley. Thankfully, he said, this particular break in was captured on video and they were able to hand it over to police.
Sgt. Javier Sambrano, with the El Paso Police Department said that this case, which was reported on October 15th, is being investigated. However, he said it does not appear that anyone has been arrested.
Something Adauto hopes will change very soon,
“We’re hoping we can find the individuals. They appear to be younger, some I would venture to say. are way too young to be out at two o’clock in the morning.”
Adauto said that the teens need to be caught before they break into a home that is occupied, saying that the owner may decide to take measures to protect their home.