By Leota Harriman
Collectible models of fire engines, tractors and machinery were stolen from Wildlife West over the weekend, along with a few paintings and a grill. That’s according to the nature park’s founder and executive director, Roger Alink.
Edgewood Police Chief Fred Radosevich said Tuesday that the theft took place sometime between 10 p.m. Aug. 15 and 7 a.m. the next morning. The incident is still under investigation, but Radosevich said there was no sign of forced entry.
Alink said that more than 100 collectible models were stolen, along with paintings and other items and a grill.
The building had a new padlock, he said, which was not found on the scene. “It breaks your heart,” Alink said. “You try to do so much for the community. … It’s very discouraging. There are lots of tears shed over it because of the emotional value of [the items].”
The stolen items had been donated by the late Bill Brown, a longtime volunteer at Wildlife West, and Alink’s brother. He said he is monitoring Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook to see if the items turn up for sale, and is offering a reward for information that leads to a conviction.
Contact Alink at 505-281-7655 or the Edgewood Police at 505-281-5717 with information on the theft.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.