Albuquerque woman petitions for harsher punishments for car thieves

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a daily occurrence in Albuquerque, cars are stolen outside homes, businesses and even car dealerships.

“It just makes you lose hope for the city, and not want to stay,” said Albuquerque resident Marcie Guerrero.

Unfortunately, for Guerrero, she’s one of many victims whose vehicles have disappeared in the middle of the night.

“I walked outside and said, ‘Where’s my truck?” She was staying at a friend’s home in the Northeast Heights when the car was taken.

Guerrero called Albuquerque police and tow companies across the city, no one had her car.

“Then I knew it was stolen,” she said.

Her son’s car was stolen too, just two months before Guerrero’s. They later located the car thanks to social media, but found a tool left behind by the thieves who took his car.

“This device was used for ignition on the vehicle, and I think it probably has fingerprints on it,” she said.

Guerrero is hoping to get it to the Albuquerque Police Department so they can check for prints and possibly locate the criminals.

“You feel like you can’t even leave your garage, you can’t park in a public spot, you can’t park even in your driveway anymore,” she said.

So, Guerrero hit a breaking point.

“I think a lot of people are tired of waiting on city officials and police to handle the situation,” she said.

Taking matters into her own hands, she launched an online petition seeking more of an emphasis from APD on catching car thieves and harsher sentences when they are caught.

“Based on recent numbers, I don’t see why we shouldn’t change our penalties,” she said.

People who have signed the petition have left comments asking to keep the perpetrators in jail, and asking for more bait cars and longer sentences.

“They’re commenting on how they’ve had multiple vehicles stolen from one household,” said Guerrero.

KRQE News 13 has spoken with police in the past and they don’t deny there’s a problem, calling it a turnstile justice system. But, while Guerrero knows she may never get her car back, she never wants to deal with having her car stolen again.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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