ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque business owner has become his own private investigator. He’s sick and tired of criminals grabbing expensive items from his store every month.
Thieves have become Noble Sinclair’s target of late after his business, The Archery Shoppe, on Carlisle and Candelaria, has been targeted by shoplifters.
Sinclair has co-owned the shop for 14 years and he’s seen crime climb.
“They don’t seem to have any fear anymore,” he said.
Sinclair showed KRQE News 13 surveillance video of one shoplifter stealing a $1,000 crossbow three weeks ago.
“He decides he’s just going to take it so he heads for the door,” Sinclair noted.
In November, another $1,000 was stolen in a crime caught on camera.
“For the 30 seconds, no one was looking at him, he grabbed a $1,000 compound bow,” Sinclair said.
In August, a pair of $1,000 binoculars was stolen.
“He stuffed them down his pants and walked out the door,” he said.
“The police are overwhelmed. The District Attorney is overwhelmed. So, these guys, even if they’re getting caught, they’re getting let right out,” Sinclair said.
But he’s done his own detective work.
In the most recent case, an employee chased down the suspect to a gas station at I-40 and San Mateo.
“He handed over the crossbow and he did have a small child in the car seat in the car,” said Sinclair.
As for the bow stolen late last year, Sinclair did some research and found him on Facebook.
“He promised me he was going to bring the bow back. And after a few days he didn’t so I contacted his mom who’s a real nice lady, so she put some pressure on him,” he explained.
Eventually, he had to contact a pawn shop detective to recover the stolen bow.
“It had gotten pawned the same day,” he said.
As for the binocular case, “I was actually hunting in Southern Arizona with a friend of mine and he had these binoculars hanging around his neck,” he said.
The stolen binoculars had been sold to a gun store by an associate of the thief. Sinclair’s friend bought the binoculars coincidentally. The serial number was an identical match.
“The gun store gave my friend a refund and gave the binoculars back to us,” Sinclair said.
He estimates merchandise stolen from his store could top $15,000 annually.
“It makes it really hard to make a living,” he said.
On Friday, concrete barriers will go up in front of the business to stop smash-and-grabs.
“This is so they can’t drive a vehicle through the front door,” he said.