ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) - With fraud and property crimes on the rise, one community is coming together to fight it. They are now forging a bond with police, and they have a new tool to help catch the thieves when they strike.
"Part of it is that law enforcement in any community can't be the sole solution to crime and public safety," explained Karen Fischer, manager of the Albuquerque Police Department's Strategic Support Division. "The people who live and work in any community are our eyes and ears."
Albuquerque police were in Artesia Thursday, holding a training course for business owners and local police. APD formed a similar partnership with business leaders in the metro area six years ago.
"Being able to have the community as part of your public safety community crime fighting is integral to how we provide public services," Fischer said.
The program includes a social network between businesses and police.
Artesia Police say there's been a rash of similar property crimes, that include thefts from oil fields .
"Copper theft, pipe theft, oil theft, transfer pumps, generators, just all kinds of oil field equipment," said Randey Johnson, security manager for Concho Resources, .
If a company gets robbed and has information such as surveillance video, that business can upload the information to the group's website so other businesses along with police can be on the lookout.
Fischer said implementing this program will be similar to a neighborhood watch for businesses.
To show how one person or a band of criminals can affect business, APD showed several examples. One was Michael Montoya , who was the ringleader of a band of crooks that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from more than 40 Albuquerque businesses.
Also mentioned, 68-year-old Marin Moreno who sold thousands of dollars worth of shop-lifted goods at Albuquerque flea markets.
"What we do know is that 80 percent of the crime in any community is committed by about 20 percent of the offenders," Fischer explained. "So those offenders whether they're breaking into your house, a business, stealing product from oil fields, or going into retail stores or hotels, they're the same individuals."
Police hope that by sharing information with businesses, they can be proactive in preventing crimes.
Fischer said 24 other jurisdictions across the country have formed this type of partnership with business owners.
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