ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Just down the street from Albuquerque High School, Netherwood Park has been a popular hangout spot for teenagers, neighbors, and Gilbert Griego and his wife.
“Every night we’d come and go for a walk throughout the neighborhood,” he said. “Nothing’s ever happened.”
It’s been like that for years – a peaceful spot for a stroll. That is, until two Sundays ago when they pulled up to the park like normal.
Only what happened next was not the norm.
“We heard a tap on the window and we thought it was one of our friends because we have people living in the neighborhood. All of a sudden, my wife’s door opens and I hear, ‘Get out,’ and I feel a gun to my head,” Griego said.
He said two men demanded the couple’s phones and their car keys.
“I don’t think they took my car because it’s a stick shift, and when they looked at my car they looked confused,” he said. “Within a couple seconds I think they realized they couldn’t drive a standard.”
Griego said when he posted online about what happened to him, others began to post similar crimes happening to them as well. Except instead of stealing a car, this person tried to steal their phones.
“Peoples’ front doors are right here,” Griego said. “You don’t think that would happen. That’s why we come here, too, because there are eyeballs everywhere. But that night there wasn’t – I don’t know why.”
Albuquerque Police say besides the armed robbery involving the Griegos, there were six other calls for service at Netherwood Park this year. None of them involved evidence of criminal activity, though there was a report about a suspicious vehicle dealing drugs at the park, and officers have taken time on their own to check things out.