Thieves hit family-owned Native American jewelry shop

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —The family owners of Palms Trading Company have seen thieves try to get into their store before, but never like they did Monday morning.

"The front door had been pulled completely out, the glass broken in the center, all the wrought iron pulled off, and the store was wide open, alarm blaring,” said Peter Berger, who owns the shop with his dad. "The first thing in your mind is ‘what’s missing, what’d they get, what’d they destroy?’"

Inside the store, two of their cases were smashed and mostly empty. The thieves also took one of their prized pieces that wasn’t for sale— a Morenci turquoise cuff, valued at around $15,000.

"It seemed with all the cases and places you had to look around here it seemed pretty specific to what they were looking for,” said Berger.

It’s not just their family taking a hit in this crime. They have worked with Native American artists from across the state for decades.

"To us, it’s not just silver and jewelry,” said Berger. “That’s somebody’s livelihood, that’s something that they worked their entire lives to learn how to make."

Without outside cameras right now, they’re relying on their neighbors near the store to help if possible.

"Hopefully there’s somebody out there that lives in the neighborhood, might’ve heard something, saw somebody driving away, that’s what we’re hoping,” said Berger.

The shop owners plan to replace the wrought iron front door with stronger materials, and plan to add more security cameras around the entire property.