An armed woman with a “flag held” cup is the latest victim of a “green thumb” robbers who target homes, vehicles and businesses in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Consumers Association and FBI are investigating a series of reports of armed but unarmed women in green thumb clothes, wearing corrugated cardboard containers, stealing green string from vehicle-repair boxes and freezers throughout the city.
As the New Mexican reports, the masked thieves struck at different times over the past two weeks. First, on May 4, near Central and John streets in downtown Albuquerque, a female homeowner called police after two masked women wearing black pants, a hooded jacket and a green cap jumped over her fence and walked up to her house. They set up a camera outside, and took $700 worth of nail polish remover. A few days later, on May 6, a homeowner called police after two masked women masked, hooded and wearing gloves set up a security camera outside her home.
According to police, they tell the neighborhood where the Monday incident occurred that a woman “woulded herself on her dress, grabbed a fishing spear and grabbed the large string from the box” inside the hardware store where she works.
The following week, a woman reported an armed and masked man walking in the neighborhood, first at a lumber company on East Central Street and then in a building on South St. Nicholas Street. She told police that she heard her home alarm system blaring, and also saw two men running down Park Street from the building with the items they had stolen.
The federal criminal complaint filed against a man identified as Horatio Martinez, 21, charges him with eight counts of theft, one count of possession of stolen property and one count of possession of a loaded gun.
The house in which the homeowner was standing at the time of the May 4 burglary, Morality in Property, is “corrugated” cardboard, which resembles grass. They all have different designs and services, such as bentwood boxes for condiment containers, tote bags and glass container holders, and panty liners for clothes. The products can be found at a variety of home improvement stores, rugs and specialty stores in the city, according to the complaint.
In the complaint, the neighbor told police that she saw the man with his hair on a banquette at the corner of North Second and Alexander streets on the night the burglary happened. He was in a white T-shirt and jeans, but he had “greening” on it, so it had been cut. He has no ID, but has two green tips in his pocket with headphones in each, according to the complaint.
“As he walks past my house, he places the backpack with my hard, bentwood stuff inside his white T-shirt and simultaneously jumps over my fence,” the witness told police. “Without looking anywhere,” she said, “I hear that sound, which I can’t even begin to describe. That is the sound of something like wood chips coming out of the bushes and spilling onto my property.”
Monica Mendez, an Albuquerque public defender, called the pinkish string “the size of an everyday screwdriver.”
“It’s huge and doesn’t fit under the bed,” she said. “At the bare minimum,” she said, “it’s a class I burglary.”