Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis residents express shock over theft

Project reader reaction

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question focused on the Indian-head monument stolen from atop Hotel Clovis. Should the city haul the six remaining monuments down and store them away for safekeeping?

Some responses:

“THE THEFT IS TRULY tragic. What it says about our community is sad. As for removing the (remaining) heads ... Will that become the first step to dismantling the whole building? Will Hotel Clovis sink quietly into history, piece by piece? I, for one, would love to see the hotel restored as so many old hotels across the West have been. It could once again become the cornerstone of a thriving downtown.”

— Gail Sharpe-Adkins, Clovis

“MY BEEF HERE IS with Raymond Mondragon. It was reported ... that Mr. Mondragon, our well-paid city manager and former police chief, noticed the chief’s head statue had been tampered with two weeks prior to it being stolen. Had he seen some evidence of vandalism at my property ... would he treat it with the same degree of neutral concern? I wonder. He is/was not thinking. He is a well-paid city official, a trained police officer ... and a neighbor. I am, for one, disappointed he did not act in a more aggressive manner.”

— Denver Jones, Clovis

“I SAY TO LEAVE the remaining (six) there. So far, we do not know if the hotel is going to remain. We have not had a city commission that has agreed on the next move. I am sure they will want to hire a consultant to tell them what to do in this instance. After all, they are only pieces of concrete molded in the shape of an Indian head. They can be duplicated.”

— Mac McDonald

“THE REMAINING INDIAN HEADS should remain exactly where they are. Hopefully the other one will turn up soon rather than later. I don’t know why anyone would want something so easy to identify.”

— John Frey, Clovis

“WHAT ARE THE PEOPLE going to do with this head? They cannot show it outside. If it is inside and they show it to a few friends, will they say ‘How nice,’ and let it go at that? Or will they be good citizens and report the location of the head? It is really amazing that the item was removed and no one saw what was happening. ... The remaining heads should be stored in a safe environment, or possibly in a secure public area, so they may be viewed by the public. I wonder how many people in the city knew these heads existed (before the theft)?”

— H. M. Richards, Clovis

“RATHER THAN MOVE THE artifacts from the Hotel Clovis roof, I favor sealing off access to the area.”

— Harold Burris, Clovis

“I THINK THERE’S MORE to someone stealing this Indian head. I believe that someone said they saw it off its pedestal before it was stolen. But I’m wondering if it was reported to the police, so they could have started an investigation at that time, would it be missing today? That would have been the time to make sure it was secure.”

— Steve Gershon, Clovis

“IT WOULD BE CHEAPER to leave the remaining monuments where they lie and run high-security razor wire across the roof. It seems kind of pricey to remove those big heavy statues just to deter a couple of our city’s bottom feeders.”

— Richard Lopes, Clovis

“I WONDER HOW ANYONE could carry the Indian head off the roof and out of the building without being seen. It must have taken all night to do it. ... What in the world is a person going to do with a huge Indian head like that? They certainly can’t display it or sell it to anyone in Clovis. And I would like to think someone would contact the police if they see the head anywhere.”

— Ardyth Elms, Clovis

“IF I REMEMBER THE article, someone had seen it moved earlier. ... If it could be moved off the position it was in, then someone should have shown a little more interest in the fact that people were getting into the building and getting to the roof. I do not believe that this is the work of one person, or that it was accomplished in one night/day. Now to fix the problem and worry about the rest is like closing the barn door after the horses got out! A little too late.”

— Dan Toledo, Clovis

“I DON’T THINK THE city should have to bear the expense of removing and storing them. Now that one statue has been taken, a closer surveillance should be in order and should be sufficient since the task of removal is not an easy or quick one. Let’s keep watch and catch the bad guys.”

— Bob Baker, Clovis