Bosque Farms chief gives monthly crime report

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With the absence of two councilors, last month's village of Bosque Farms council meeting mostly consisted of the monthly department report from the chief of police.

During September, Police Chief Greg Jones reported that the department took two reports of fraud, one of which involved IRS agents showing up on the doorstep of a resident.

"They were hoping to make an arrest for tax fraud due to identity theft," Jones said. "This person, in 2008, got a call that their credit card was locked. It was a recording and when they finally got to a person they gave them their name, date of birth and Social Security number.

"Four years later, they have the IRS knocking on their door."

Jones said the Internal Revenue Service is investigating the case, which seems to have originated in Georgia.

The other incident involved a local mobile home sales business that had closed.

"We are starting to get reports that people bought mobile homes from this business, paid cash, and the homes have never been delivered or ordered," the chief said. "If we have a number of incidents of fraud, we can put them together in one case, maybe we can get someone's attention."

In addition to the fraud reports, Jones said one person was the victim of a phone scam.

She received a phone call from someone, claiming to be a relative, asking her to guess which one. When she "correctly" identified the relative, Jones said the man on the phone told her he had been in a car wreck in Juarez, and needed $2,500 cash wired to get out of the country.

"The money was sent and there was a second call, this time telling her the baby in the wreck died and he needed another $3,000," Jones said.

The additional money was wired, and when the woman finally called her nephew, she found he was safely at school, in California.

Jones reported the department made two felony warrant arrests. The first was made after a traffic stop for not wearing seat belts, he said, and the officer arrested a wanted felon for larceny, credit card theft and Internet fraud.

The second arrest was of a man wanted out of Texas for felony property damage.

Jones said recently there have been reports of an Hispanic female going door to door, asking for money.

"The story is, she needs to get to Rio Rancho, her husband has been arrested by the Rio Rancho police," he said. "At least a half dozen people have reported this woman, sometimes around 3:30 p.m., even as late as midnight."

The chief said according to callers, she is driving a small black SUV or crossover, and is a heavy set woman, with heavy makeup and tattoos.

Officers made two DWI arrests, Jones said, and a man was picked up on an arrest warrant after he was seen waling through a residential area late at night.

"It was a couple who didn't live here, and he was in possession of meth," he said. "Our guys are out there looking for things that are suspicious."

Jones said the department needs residents to also report suspicious behavior.

"We had one residential (burglary) from a storage shed. The victim said neighbors chased them away the night before, but didn't call," he said. "Please, please call us when you see something suspicious."

The department has begun building an email list for residents of Bosque Farms and Peralta, Jones said, so alerts about these different scams and other department news can be sent out.

Anyone wanting to be put on the email list should send Jones a message at g.jones@bosquefarmsnm.gov.

After the chief's report, a man in the audience asked if he could ask Jones some questions. The man, Richard Johnston, said there was an incident with someone piling concrete on the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District ditchbank, near his house.

"That was me and I had permission," Johnston said. "Does that belong to the conservancy or the village?"

Jones said the ditchbank belongs to the conservancy district.

"We have a letter asking us to enforce what we are allowed to enforce on their property," Jones said. "We were recently dispatched in reference to the dumping of concrete on the ditchbank. I understand it's OK, with the permission of conservancy."

Johnston said he saw four cruisers there for the call.

"Do you not have enough to do? You're getting the reputation as Keystone Kops," he said. "It's a waste of manpower; the leadership is not there."

He then segued into asking whether a patrol car could park on private property and "chase us with radar."

Jones said the units could park along side a road, on the public right-of-way.

"If they are parked on private property, and asked to leave, they will," he said.

Johnston said recently a patrol unit parked out of sight "jumped out there" into traffic while "we were all jammed in there. He almost got the front of my truck."

Jones said the department has a procedure to handle complaints, either at the village administration building or at the department's office.

"I encourage you to do that," he said.

Gloria Farnholtz, a member of the Bosque Farms Community Watch, suggested the chief ask Johnston to join the community members who volunteered with the department.

"You mean the white mice?" Johnston said.

"That was unnecessary," Farnholtz fired back.

During the non-agenda discussion items, Johnston came to the lectern, asking the council if he could have five minutes for his remarks. Mayor Bob Knowlton said he would be held to the minute-and-a-half that is traditionally allotted.

"Then I'll just talk about the negative stuff," Johnston said.

He listed a litany of what seemed to be complaints about possible code violations by his neighbor on Toy Lane. They included electrical lines running through a tree, a barn that was unsafe, the smell from animal manure, a fence line bent due to overgrown trees, goats getting out of his neighbors property, two abandoned cars and a tree growing into the street.

"And Jones says they don't do dogs in the middle of the night when they are barking. Is that correct?" Johnston asked.

Knowlton said it was correct.

"Have you informed the planning and zoning officer of these issues?" Knowlton asked.

Johnston said he had not, but he had "started on a regular complaint form, but I ran out of space."

Knowlton said he would relay Johnston's concerns to the planning and zoning officer.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.