ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A local alarm company’s billboard makes a big, exaggerating claim that’s bugging Albuquerque police.
The billboard, located on the north side of Paseo del Norte just west of I-25 says “85 BREAK-INS TODAY IN ABQ.”
It’s for Alpha Alarm, a local company.
“Sounds like a lot,” Jenniffer Harvey said about the billboard.
It sounds like a pretty daunting number, yes, but APD says you shouldn’t buy into it.
“There’s no way that’s accurate, that seems way too high,” Officer Tanner Tixier, an APD spokesman, said.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting database, it is way too high. The average daily number of burglaries in Albuquerque, as pulled from the most recent 2014 statistics, is actually 16.
“Not as scary, compared to 85,” Ana Christina Javier said.
Sixteen is a number police feel more comfortable agreeing with.
“A lot more accurate,” Tixier said. “We see on average about 15 to 20 home (and commercial) burglaries a day here in Albuquerque.”
KRQE News 13 called Alpha Alarm for answers and were put in touch with a man who does marketing for the company, Dennis Logsdon with Toscana Marketing Group.
Logsdon said the number 85 came from neighborhoodscout.com. Neighborhoodscout.com also gets its statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting database.
So what went wrong?
Alpha Alarm’s number 85 comes from the total number of property crimes in Albuquerque in 2014, which was more than 31,000 reported crimes. But the category of property crimes includes way more crimes than reported burglaries. It includes crimes like shoplifting, larceny and motor vehicle theft, not just breaking and entering.
Logsdon said the company “pushed the edges a little” and took a “marketing spin” and “marketing liberty” with the billboard.
“I think they should pull it down I mean that’s false advertising,” Harvey said.
“With all the hard work that our men and women do every single day, including our burglary detectives, in order to try to curb these types of crimes, it’s a little disheartening that they’re grossly inflating these number in order to sell alarm systems,” Tixier said.
Logsdon said the billboard is coming down any day now but not because of the number 85. It’s been up for roughly 100 days.
Alpha Alarm released this statement to News 13: