New Mexican Native American Art Shop Gets Robbed Thousands

The Berger family has owned Palms Trading Company for 90 years. Guy Berger is the current owner and says his passion is to share Native American art with his customers. Yesterday they lost nearly $75,000 worth of native art. However, what hurts them the most is not the money. “It was 1933. My grandfather and his brothers, Guido, Luigi and Francesco, started the liquor store deli on Central and Rio Grande,” Guy Berger said. Eventually, this grocery store would become one of the largest collections of Native American art in New Mexico. Guy showed us a third-phase chief’s blanket that he says was made around 1900, a stone tomahawk, a storm-patterned rug, with a design of four sacred mountains, and pottery from the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Today Guy is passing the family business on to the next generation. His son Peter Berger is the managing director. “Being able to work with your family every day and be part of a community that you love. That’s it,” said Peter Berger. On Monday, criminals broke into the store and took shelves from the family collection. Guy said they broke the glass and took several rows of bracelets. They also took their most prized possession: a giant Lorenzi turquoise bracelet, and it had been in the family for 50 years. “I had been offered quite a bit of money for it on several occasions, and I said no because it was part of the family,” Guy Berger said. Peter said this piece meant the world to his family, “everything else is replaceable, but family is a big thing, and it was part of our family.” “Of all the things we’ve lost, I think that’s the one that hurts the most,” Berger said. Even after losing $75,000, they are moving forward. With the support of families and communities, they have been buying for decades. They say their passion is not just selling jewelry, pots and rugs. “We don’t just buy and sell their Native American art. They’re our friends,” “It’s about relationships, and it’s not only about the history of Palms Trading Company, but also about the history of the Native American community in New Mexico,” said Guy Berger. This is not the first time that his family has faced burglaries. They put steel rods in their air vents and rear door entrances to keep intruders out. Peter tells KOAT that they will improve their security soon. Guy says, please call his shop if you see Native American art that looks like they lost. This number is (505) 247-8504.

The Berger family has owned Palms Trading Company for 90 years. Guy Berger is the current owner and says his passion is to share Native American art with his customers. Yesterday they lost nearly $75,000 worth of native art. However, what hurts them the most is not the money.

“It was 1933. My grandfather and his brothers, Guido, Luigi and Francesco, started the liquor store deli on Central and Rio Grande,” Guy Berger said.

Eventually, this grocery store would become one of the largest collections of Native American art in New Mexico.

Guy showed us a third-phase chief’s blanket that he says was made around 1900, a stone tomahawk, a storm-patterned rug, with a design of four sacred mountains, and pottery from the San Ildefonso Pueblo.

Today Guy is passing the family business on to the next generation. His son Peter Berger is the managing director.

“Being able to work with your family every day and be part of a community that you love. That’s it,” said Peter Berger.

On Monday, criminals broke into the store and took shelves from the family collection. Guy said they broke the glass and took several rows of bracelets. They also took their most prized possession: a giant Lorenzi turquoise bracelet, and it had been in the family for 50 years.

“I had been offered quite a bit of money for it on several occasions, and I said no because it was part of the family,” Guy Berger said.

Peter said this piece meant the world to his family, “everything else is replaceable, but family is a big thing, and it was part of our family.”

“Of all the things we’ve lost, I think that’s the one that hurts the most,” Berger said.

Even after losing $75,000, they are moving forward. With the support of families and communities, they have been buying for decades. They say their passion is not just selling jewelry, pots and rugs.

“We don’t just buy and sell their Native American art. They are our friends,”

“It’s about relationships, and it’s not only the story of Palms Trading Company, but also the story of the Native American community in New Mexico,” Guy Berger said.

This is not the first time that his family has had to deal with burglaries. They put steel rods in their air vents and rear door entrances to keep intruders out. Peter tells KOAT that they will improve their security soon. Guy says, please call his shop if you see Native American art that looks like they lost. This number is (505) 247-8504.