ALBUQUEQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque police are making arrests by the dozens in thecity’s recently revived war on property crime, but a bigchunk of those arrested are out of jail and back on thestreets.
“The majority are repeat offenders,” AlbuquerqueMayor Richard Berry said.
City officials have been featuring the city’s most wantedproperty crime offenders every month for the last three months inthe Albuquerque Journal.
The full-page ads include mug shots of home and automotiveburglary suspects, suspected car thieves and career crooks.
The mugs are also featured on 10 digital billboards across theAlbuquerque metro area.
Despite the increased effort to catch them, the reality is thecriminal justice system hasn’t changed much.
“As we talked early in the process when we brought thepolicy forward, we were very specific with this idea that we needto work with our allies and our friends in the judiciary and thelegislature,” Berry said.
While many of the people arrested so far are still injail—some are not. In fact, getting out was pretty easy.
As of Tuesday, of 29 identified suspects arrested so far, 14were still in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Another six were in other detention facilities in New Mexico, orout of state.
Nine of the 29 people arrested were already out of jail.
Among them is Alvin Chief, 23.
Chief is currently facing charges in three separate burglarycases, all from 2007. He was wanted for failing to appear in courtin two of the cases. He racked up another arrest warrant in thethird case, while out on bond in the first two.
Chief was among those featured by the city and arrested lastmonth. He was then placed on MDC’s community custodyprogram.
Even though he is technically “in custody,” trackedand monitored by an electronic monitoring system, he is not injail.
Also among those no longer behind bars is Daisy Alaniz, 23.
She was convicted of burglary in 2008, and escape from communitycustody in 2009, and placed on probation.
Police arrested her for failing to comply with the conditions ofher probation last month. She was then released from jail on herown recognizance, without having to post bond.
It was the same story for auto theft and conspiracy suspectJeffrey Brasher, 18.
Less than two months after posting bond in one auto theft case,police arrested Brasher in a second auto theft case in whichhe’s charged with 38 counts.
He was released on his own recognizance on Feb. 5.
“Our over-arching philosophy here is, we want Albuquerqueto be a bad place to be a criminal,” Berry said.
According to city officials, even though what happens afterarrests are made is beyond their control, they still have the powerto make property crime offenders miserable by showing their mugshots and arresting them as many times as the law allows.
The war on property crime is a work in progress.
A key focus now is working with state lawmakers in the nextlegislative session to strengthen property crime laws and put astop to the revolving door – at least by increasing penaltiesfor repeat offenders.
“If we can get the laws that we need in place that thejudiciary can enforce, then we’re going to make an evenbigger effort on top of the positive effect that we’realready making today,” Berry told News 13.
In the meantime, expect to see more faces out there.
The $4,000 monthly newspaper ads will continue indefinitely.Wanted suspects will soon be featured on mall kiosks.
A Sheriff's Deputy who was fired for forging a certificate of completion for a training course she did not complete caught a break from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board.
It's been 11 years since a woman was buried alive after a tractor-trailer full of sand turned over onto her car.
Roswell has seen a major increase in burglaries this year and a lack of officers might be to blame.
Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.
Operation Gingerbread arrived in Albuquerque Tuesday for an event to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The Game and Fish Department is looking for a poacher who killed four deer.