Great Belen Train Robbery
May 24, 1898. Robbers "Bronco Bill" Walters and "Kid" Johnson stopped the train south of Albuquerque; when they moved to blow up the safe in the baggage car, the agent begged them to throw it off the train before they used the explosives. The outlaws removed approx. $50,000, including several heavy bags of coins, then set off across the mesa west of Belen. A posse organized in Belen soon set off after the men, forcing them to bury the bags of coins as they fled. The lawmen confronted the robbers near Puertocito; the ensuing shootout left two lawmen and a Navajo tracker dead. The outlaws were brought to bay two months later in Arizona, where Kid Johnson was killed and Bronco Bill injured and sent to prison. Belen area legend says that coins from the robbery still wait to be found.