ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With the holidays right around the corner, the Albuquerque Police Department said they are planning to carry their recent fight against retail theft through the holiday season. From now until the end of the holiday season, you should expect more APD officers here at Coronado Center and every other shopping center across the city, making sure fewer people are stealing and shoppers are safe.
“This is a bold statement and we want to make sure the public knows that we are taking these shoplifters seriously,” said Chief Harold Medina with the Albuquerque Police Department.
After what the Albuquerque police department is calling a successful summer, they are kicking things into high gear for the holiday season. “Sticky Fingers concluded with 196 new arrests for crimes related to retail theft. In addition, 42 people were arrested for outstanding warrants,” said Chief Medina.
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From now until the end of the year, you can expect more police across the metro to crack down on shoplifters. “What we’re announcing is for the holiday season, you can expect seven days a week, these officers are going to be out enforcing these retail tact plan. And not just in Uptown, but in Cottonwood and Montgomery and Eubank, San Mateo – Montgomery, in the valley area off Renaissance. Anywhere that large shopping or large areas bring together many shoppers,” said Commander Kyle Hartsock.
The department said it will really focus on the repeat offenders, hammering them with a new law that adds up the value of merchandise stolen across multiple instances, turning a series of misdemeanors into a felony. They are also cracking down on the secondhand sales of stolen goods. “So if you’re watching this right now, and this is your industry, you’re going to meet our detectives firsthand if you keep this up,” said Commander Hartsock.
As for partnerships, APD softened its tone toward Walgreens a few weeks after criticizing the chain for a rise in theft at their stores across the city. “I think even Walgreens now reports all of their shoplifting stuff, which is important to us. And we’ve developed a process for them to quickly upload them. So I applaud them for that,” said Chief Medina. “Safe shopping atmosphere for our citizens in Albuquerque. Safe place to go on the Central Boulevard for entertainment and shopping and the last thing, removing criminals from the community that should already be in jail, to begin with.”
APD said that some of the repeat offenders they see are homeless, stealing socks, underwear, and other necessities. They said that in those instances Albuquerque Community Safety comes out to assist officers. The chief said officers continue to work on warrant round-ups around the city as well as cleaning up central from Tramway to 98th street.