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Authorities find missing Albuquerque food trucks and a hot air balloon at chop shop

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A search for a stolen Albuquerque food truck led to the discovery of a stolen vehicles cache in a neighboring county, including other food trucks and a trailer with a hot air balloon, according to authorities.

James Nance, a Socorro County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said a 64-year-old man found living at a chop shop in a stolen camper trailer, was arrested after deputies found seven vehicles previously reported stolen. Chop shops are places where stolen vehicles are stripped down for their parts.

The search also turned up a trailer with a hot air balloon that was reported missing in May in Albuquerque.

Officials in Socorro County told news outlets Thursday that someone reported seeing the missing La Riva's New Mexican Food food truck in a rural area north of Albuquerque.

Some of the food trucks discovered belonged to people in Albuquerque, Belen and Rio Rancho and were stripped for parts.

Troy Bradley, a pilot with the Rainbow Ryders, told KOB-TV that the balloon had flown in last month's Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta before it was taken.

Officials said it is likely the man was not acting alone, but did not disclose any other details.