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On this page you can learn about common criminal offenses affecting our community.  You can also explore our "External Links" page where you can access additional resources for crime reporting and prevention.  We also include links to mental health and suicide prevention programs.


First, be aware of your surroundings!

Police officers are trained to tune up their SA (Situational Awareness).  Honing this skill is not just for law enforcement personnel.  More citizens are choosing to obtain concealed carry permits and some institutions participate in active shooter training. Situational awareness training will prove useful should you ever find yourself trapped during a violent episode.  This Crime Stoppers video is a great way to start tuning up your SA.

Crime Stoppers (Ocaprio, 2016) from Sarah Mackay on Vimeo.


Be aware of common Taos crime!

Statistics from the Town of Taos Police Department, for the first two months of 2017 show that there were 30 "Assaults" during the period.  Under the Federal Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR), Assaults and Batteries are counted together.  So, calling someone a bad name (an Assault) is counted the same as striking someone (a Battery), all are Assaults under UCR.

Currently, Property Crimes are our biggest problem.  There were 26 Burglaries during the reporting period.  Of those, 16 were Auto Burglaries, 4 were Residential Burglaries and 6 were Commercial Burglaries.  Of all the Burglaries, only 6 showed signs of Forced Entry.  In the other 20 cases, THERE WERE NO SIGNS OF FORCED ENTRY!  Want to protect your property?  LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS! 

On almost a daily basis, officers are dispatched to a large store parking lot where an individual was seen trying car door handles to see if they are locked.

Most of these crimes are committed by individuals with drug dependencies and they are looking for a quick and easy score.  They want to be in and out very quickly, with a minimum of noise and fuss.  They will take your wallet, your cell phone, your handbag or anything that they can sell for $20 or $30 dollars.  If they get your purse or wallet, they will use your credit cards within minutes of stealing them.  Protect yourself and your property, LOCK YOUR DOORS!

Another common problem is criminal damage to property, especially windows being shot out with BB or pellet guns.  Both business windows and vehicle windows are being victimized.  In both cases, replacing these windows can be very expensive for the owners.

Anyone with information about these and other crimes can anonymously make a report  by clicking the link "Submit a Tip" on this website, by calling Taos County Crime Stoppers at 758-HALT (4258) or by using our P3 Tips mobile appTCCS does not request your name and our reporting systems are designed to protect your anonymity.

Taos County Crime Stoppers is dedicated to the task of making our community a safe place to live and work.  We all have a role to play in that mission.


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Be aware of illegal drug and gang activity!

Signs of Drug Use

Methamphetamine: "Wired," sleeplessness for days and weeks at a time, total loss of appetite, extreme weight loss, dilated pupils, excited, talkative, deluded sense of power, paranoia, depression, loss of control, nervousness, unusual sweating, shaking, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, violence, dizziness, mood changes, blurred vision, mental confusion, agitation.

Cocaine: Impaired thinking, confused, anxious, depressed, short tempered, panic attacks, dilated pupils, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, decreased sexual drive, restlessness, irritability, very talkative, scratching, hallucinations, paranoia.

LSD (Acid): Dilated pupils, skin discoloration, loss of coordination, false sense of power, euphoria, distortion of time and space, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, loss of control, anxiety, panic, helplessness, and self destructive behavior.

PCP: Sometimes violent or bizarre behavior, suicide has often occurred, paranoia, fearfulness, anxiety, aggressive or withdrawn, skin flushing, sweating, dizziness, total numbness, and impaired perceptions.

Inhalants: Short-lasting euphoria, giggling, silliness, dizziness. Then come the headaches and loss of consciousness. Long term Use: Short-term memory loss, emotional instability, impairment of reasoning, slurred speech, clumsy staggering gait, eye flutter, tremors, hearing loss, loss of sense of smell, and escalating stages of brain atrophy. Sometimes these serious long term effects are reversible with body detoxification and nutritional therapy; sometimes the brain damage is irreversible or only partially reversible.

Heroin: Chemically enforced euphoria. "Nodding," which is a dreamlike state, near sleep, drifting off for minutes or hours. For long time abusers heroin may act like a stimulant and they can do a normal daily routine; however, for others, it leaves them completely powerless to do anything.

Marijuana: Compulsive eating, bloodshot red eyes that are squinty (they may have trouble keeping them open), dry mouth, excessive and uncontrollable laughter, short term memory loss, extreme lethargy, delayed motor skills, occasional paranoia, hallucinations, lack of motivation, sickly sweet smell on body, hair, and clothes, and strong mood changes and behaviors when the person is "high."

Depressants (Tranquilizers and Barbiturates): Decreased inhibition, slowed motor coordination, lethargy, relaxed muscles, staggering gait, poor judgement, slow, uncertain reflexes, disorientation, and slurred speech.


What is a Gang?

A gang is defined as an organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, which has a common name and/or common identifying signs or symbols, whose members individually and/or collectively engage in criminal activity.



Why Do Kids Join Gangs?


  • Identity through recognition
  • Perception of belonging
  • Peer pressure
  • Intimidation
  • Protection (real or perceived)
  • Lack of family life
  • Family ties to gangs (it is expected or acceptable to join a gang)
  • Brotherhood/interpersonal bonding
  • Low self-esteem 

How Do Gangs Recruit Members?


   Gangs influence youths into joining by using the following methods:

  • Peer pressure, offers protection
  • Monetary enticements
  • Challenging kids to take risks
  • Invitations to parties where gang-related activities are occurring
  • Family members already belong
  • Affection and attention shown to the youths by gang members that may not be given at home

What Are The Consequences of Gang Involvement?


   Short Term Consequences:

  • In trouble with law enforcement
  • Drop in performance at school
  • Withdrawal from family
  • Drug and alcohol involvement
  • “Dirty work” for the gang, earning their “bones” or “stripes”

   Long Term Consequences:

  • Loss of opportunities for education/employment due to criminal record
  • Time spent in jail or prison
  • Possibility of losing family or friends
  • Risk of personal injury or death
  • Risk of family members’ lives
  • Increased risk of violence in criminal activity

What Are Signs of a Gang in My Neighborhood?

  • Graffiti

  • Youths hanging out

  • Increase in Gang-related acts such as burglary, vandalism and assaults.

What Are Signs of Gang Involvement?

  • Changes in attitude or behavior

  • Openly admits gang affiliation
  • Showing colors (bandanas, t-shirts, jackets, shoes, ball caps)
  • Association with known gang members
  • Unwillingness to discuss their activities
  • Loss of family interest
  • Reluctance to be seen with other family members
  • Unexplained injuries (cuts and bruises)
  • Trouble with law enforcement or at school
  • Has unexplained cash or goods (clothing, jewelry, electronics)
  • New Friends
  • Tattoos or graffiti-style writing on clothing or books
  • Disregard for persons or property

  • Exhibiting signs of alcohol and drug use