ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department says property crimes at area hotels during the Balloon Fiesta decreased by 39% compared to last year.

“APD worked closely with Albuquerque Fire Rescue, Bernalillo County Emergency Management, other public safety agencies, and several city departments to keep people safe,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a news release. “The police department was prepared for incidents at the park and conducted proactive auto theft and street crime operations around the city, resulting in dozens of felony arrests. Officers stepped up and helped make this huge event safe and fun for visitors and residents.”

Hundreds of officers from 24 different units helped out at the Balloon Fiesta. This year, APD trained city security personnel from the Department of Municipal Development to help direct traffic. APD recruits from the police academy were also utilized to direct traffic during the fiesta.

According to APD, the most notable incident during the Balloon Fiesta was a motor vehicle accident involving a six-year-old. The child had minor injuries and was able to attend the fiesta.

Below is a breakdown of incidents during the Balloon Fiesta.

  • Missing/Separated Adults-6
  • Missing/Separated Children-52
  • Miscellaneous Law Enforcement Calls-16
  • Traffic Reports-2
  • Balloon Accidents-3 downed balloons handled by New Mexico State Police.

APD also used the Auto Theft Unit and the Street Crimes Unit to conduct public safety operations around the city in connection to the Balloon Fiesta. They focused their efforts in areas like hotels where balloonists might stay and where the Balloon Fiesta created additional traffic or risk.

  • Felony arrest/warrants: 48 (2 homicide offenders, 1 attempted homicide offender)
  • Misdemeanor arrest: 1
  • Recovered stolen vehicles: 16
  • Bait Car Arrests: 3
  • Guns recovered/seized: 9 (1 concealed pellet gun)
  • Narcotics arrest: 7 narcotics arrests (Meth and Heroin)
  • Positive Community Contacts: numerous