Marfa police concerned car burglars looking for firearms

MARFA — Marfa police are stepping up patrols after they say a string of car break-ins last week left at least six cars rummaged through across town.

Police are also asking residents who own firearms to move their guns inside over fears that an unknown number of burglars were looking for weapons.

The break-ins, which happened overnight last Wednesday, March 24, all involved unlocked cars. In a social-media post, Marfa police said three cars were rummaged through. However, Marfa Police Chief Steve Marquez says the total count has now gone up to at least six cars, after more residents called police to report break-ins.

Initially, police thought the break-ins were confined to the north side of town, with the first break-ins reported in the area of Texas and Columbia streets. But “throughout the day, we got more reports,” including from Paris Street on the southside, Chief Marquez said. “It ended up being all over town.”

There are a few reasons police are concerned the burglars were looking for guns. Police say the burglars were not apparently looking for valuables, in one case leaving a computer untouched.

They also say the M.O. of the crimes — in which a burglar or group of burglars quickly looked through unlocked cars and checked in places like glove boxes — matches a previous string of car burglaries from around 2019.

In that case, a gun was stolen and ultimately recovered in a criminal’s possession in El Paso.

The circumstances were enough for police to see a pattern — and to issue a warning to residents to leave their guns inside.

They were “going in and looking through stuff, but not really taking anything,” Chief Marquez said of the burglar or burglars. “Individuals — those of you that carry — remove the handguns.”