ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Day after day, Duane Kinsley – who owns Sports Systems near Montgomery and Louisiana – fights for his business. “It’s like a war every day,” said Kinsley. “I love what we do here…and we cannot continue with this kind of level of theft, vandalism, and scams.”
From break-ins and thefts to rocks being thrown, he said his store – which has been in business for nearly 40 years – sees incidents now about four times a week. “What’s really different about today than even just a year ago, is how brazen they are,” said Kinsley.
He shared videos of the crimes. In one, the video shows a man trying to walk out of the store with three snowboards, before APD gets involved and makes an arrest. Another video shows a woman Kinsley said tried to walk out with a purse full of items before getting caught.
Staff says their cameras show another man also trying to walk out with snowboards before they catch him about a month later. “We apprehend them here and they’re actually really surprised when that happens. They’re like, ‘wow, what are you doing, are you actually trying to stop me,'” said Kinsley. “They come in through skylights, air conditioning ducts. Now we have bars through our air conditioning ducts.”
Kinsley said they have spent $100,000 in the past year on repairs and added security. “It’s just disheartening every day to come to work and wonder, ‘what do we have to do to protect our business and stay in business,'” he said. He’s looking to lawmakers to crack down on retail crime this session.
“‘Cause we need something that puts these guys away,” said Kinsley. Republican House Bill 55 and the governor-backed House Bill 234 aim to do that. Both would essentially allow prosecutors to go after repeat shoplifters and combine their offenses for more serious charges and penalties.
“If people in Albuquerque want to still have stores to go shopping, if they want to go to the Walgreens, or the Target, or the Sports Systems, if this doesn’t stop in the near future, they won’t have that opportunity,” said Kinsley.
One of those bills got stalled in a committee, another one was passed in its recent committee and is working its way through the roundhouse.