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Santa Fe youth center badly trashed, vehicles crashed

SANTA FE – Burglars broke into a Santa Fe youth shelter on Wednesday night, badly trashed the place and then stole a vehicle from the grounds, crashed into several cars and fled.

“The whole place is just a mess from top to bottom,” said Santa Fe Police spokeswoman Celina Westervelt. “They took food and dumped it over all the furniture. It was a very destructive crime and a lot of evidence was left behind.”

Police were alerted to the break-in after they were called to a possible vehicle fire at around 11:40 p.m. on Camino de la Cañada and Camino Alire. They found a 2001 Subaru Outback with heavy front end damage that was leaking fluids and smoking. A witness said she saw men running away from the car.

Police discovered the car was registered to the Youth Shelters and Family Services on St. Francis Drive and went to that building, where they found a broken window. They looked inside and saw “food thrown everywhere, small containers of sunblock open and emptied onto the floor, desks, walls and electronic equipment,” a police report said.

An organization representative was contacted, and when officers entered they found “popcorn, cookies, bread and an orange substance that had the consistency of baby food scattered across the floor, countertops, the walls and cupboards.”


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In an adjacent office police found items scattered all over the floor, hand sanitizer smeared on furniture, equipment and the floor, and red paint spread around. A bathroom had “fecal matter on the floor and in the bathtub” and there “were remotes in the toilet.” The facility is believed to be for homeless youth, police said.

Near the scene of the crashed Subaru, police found a Chevrolet Cavalier that had been hit. A witness said he was awakened by a crash at about 11:30 p.m. and went outside. He said three males, two described as white and one as black, who “threatened to kill him if he called police and left running,” the police report states.

Police then found a third damaged vehicle around the corner. Two witnesses at that location said they heard a loud crash around 11:30 p.m. and saw a dark-colored car driving the wrong way down the cul-de-sac at high speed. They then discovered damage to their vehicle and bumper damage to another.