ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Detectives with the Albuquerque Police Department said they’re seeing an increase in thieves making off with one type of vehicle lately.
According to APD on average 12 to 18 Ford F-250’s and F-350’s are stolen each week in Albuquerque. Police said it’s because they’re an easy target.
“Thieves already know how easy it is to pop the handles on these models,” Officer Simon Drobik said. “Also, they know how easy it is to get that ignition started.”
Drobik said it’s the older models that thieves are focused on stealing.
“They are looking for the models made in between 1995-2005,” Drobik said.
Monday, a couple pulled into the Walmart off San Mateo and Cutler, in a 1999 Ford F-350. Surveillance video shows the couple parking near the end of the lot and walking into the store around 6 p.m.
A black Audi pulls in just seconds after and parks behind the truck, out of the cameras view.
“We believe they were being followed,” Drobik said. “You see the Audi stop, pause and watch the individuals walk away from the truck, then they take action trying to steal it.”
Police said it only took them seconds to break the handle, but when they did that they also sounded the truck’s alarm that got the attention of a Walmart employee.
“The alarm going off didn’t stop them,” Drobik said. “It was an employee that started yelling at the guy.”
According to the police report, that’s when the thieves gave up and took off without the truck.
“We know there is a group of individuals out there targeting Fords and we need to make the public aware that,” Drobik said.
Police did not get the license plate number of the Audi and are asking for the public’s assistance to help identify anyone involved. Although the employee did scare the suspected thieves away; police advise people to not intervene because it could be dangerous.