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Santa Fe rallies for $38,000 burglary victim

November 20, 2018

Julian Moreno said he can relate to Jimmy Stewart’s character in the holiday movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

After a theft of $38,000 last week left his business short of cash and his psyche short on hope, Moreno said members of the community have stepped in to help after his misfortune was reported in Monday’s edition of The New Mexican.

Moreno said he’s received donations of money and even promises of Thanksgiving turkeys as police investigate a break-in of his truck, which held a lockbox filled with cash — including $14,000 in payroll for his business, Always Construction Services.

Moreno said one person gave him $500, which will help the business owner fulfill his annual tradition of treating employees to a Thanksgiving turkey and a $100 gift card.

“God has given so much to me. I want to give back,” Moreno said of his annual holiday tradition. “It’s my way of saying thank you.”

He said he wasn’t sure he was going to manage it this year after the theft. But by Monday, some people he didn’t even know had stepped in to help.

“I’m shocked the community is opening up for us like this,” he said.

Annette Martinez said when she heard Moreno’s story, she was heartbroken, and felt she had to do something. She’s one of two people who plans to bring a turkey to the company’s office on Wednesday.

“Nobody deserves to deal with something like that,” Martinez said. “People need to pull together and just try to make the best of the situation.”

Moreno is offering a cash reward for anyone with information leading to arrests as police investigate the theft. Santa Fe police spokesman Greg Gurulé said Monday there were no suspects or arrests.

Cisco Barbero has been working for Moreno for the past two winters, and said Moreno always pays his workers on time and has been generous. Barbero said he didn’t lose faith or panic because Moreno finds a way to pull through.

“Not too many of the guys are worried,” Barbero said. “It’s just a bad situation.”

Moreno acknowledged he’s concerned about bills, but is confident projects will be completed and the company will continue to generate revenue.

“I know if we just keep pushing along, within time we’ll be OK,” he said.

Moreno said police told him chances are slim he would ever see the money again, but he still hopes the thieves will be apprehended.

In the meantime, he said he’s grateful for the support.

“I’m just really blessed I have so many good people around me,” he said. “I’ve always been one of those lone soldiers. It’s been hard to accept help.”

But help is arriving. Maybe George Bailey could relate.

How to help

Julian Moreno of Always Construction Services is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest of suspects in the burglary of his truck. He said anyone with information also can call him at 505-577-8503.

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