LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Police in Las Cruces and Carlsbad are warning bank customers to be aware of their surroundings after several incidents of patrons leaving a bank and being targeted by unknown persons who appear to be traveling in a gold Honda Accord.
In two incidents within the last few weeks, customers who drove away from Las Cruces banks had their vehicles burglarized at their next stop after leaving their vehicle unattended. In another Las Cruces incident, a customer leaving a Wells Fargo Bank was approached by a perpetrator who attempted to snatch a bag out of the victim’s hands. No injuries were reported and the perpetrator was unsuccessful in his attempt.
Police in Carlsbad have received complaints of similar incidents occurring in that southeastern New Mexico city. Carlsbad police are investigating a robbery that occurred shortly after a customer left a bank and drove to a different location where he stopped his vehicle. In that incident, the suspect beat the victim and stole an undisclosed amount of money.
In all known incidents, the perpetrators appear to be traveling in a gold Honda Accord with New Mexico plates. Las Cruces police obtained video of the vehicle during an auto burglary committed Aug. 27. The video shows the Honda Accord pull up to a parked minivan. A man exits the Accord, enters the driver’s door of the minivan and steals personal property from the victim’s vehicle. The man was in and out of the minivan in seconds.
Police believe the Honda Accord has a fictitious license plate attached. The fictitious plate is New Mexico Chile AAJK79.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that identifies the perpetrators. Anyone with information that can help identify the driver, the accomplice or the location of the vehicle is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be provided through the Las Cruces Crime Stoppers app, “P3 TIPS.” The app is available through the App Store on most devices.
Those who provide tips through Crime Stoppers do not have to leave their own name and will remain completely anonymous.