ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many Albuquerque businesses are all too familiar with break-ins. Dipo Alam, the co-owner of Spring Rollin,’ Potato Corner, Paleta Bar, and other shops, can barely keep up because the break-ins are happening so often.
“As much as I am surprised over the years, I’m not anymore,” Dipo Alam, an Albuquerque business owner said.
Two weeks ago, Spring Rollin’ at Coors and Montaño was hit twice and another break-in at his business on San Pedro within seven days.
“I was going to like joke around about it, but it’s not a joke anymore, just put the signage, ‘I’ll leave the door open, feel free to come in. Please don’t break the glass, get whatever spring roll you want, get some chips, serve yourself.’ You know, I just, I really don’t know what else to do,” he said.
Alam stated within the last year, across his shops citywide, he’s been hit nearly a dozen times.
Albuquerque Police admit it’s a problem, but compared to last year, they’re seeing nearly 20% fewer reported break-ins and burglaries.
“It’s actually trending in the right direction, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you’re a business owner, or a homeowner, or a vehicle owner, every break-in is very personal,” Commander Kyle Hartsock with APD said, in the past, detectives would have to prioritize other crimes over the burglaries in their caseload, but that’s now changed.
APD has started a Burglary Unit, a division made up of detectives fully dedicated to these types of crimes.
“We’re giving them the time and the space to really get laser-focused on these cases,” Hartsock said.
Three full-time detectives and a sergeant, working hand and hand with the Organized Crime Unit, will be reviewing every single burglary case reported in Albuquerque.
Hartsock is confident the public will notice the change in the coming months.
“Now, we’re putting all these heads together which is why I’m really confident you’re going to see even more arrests and an ever bigger decrease in those crimes because we’re going to undercut those criminals from multiple angles,” he said.
The division has been fully operational for about a month. APD is looking to grow it throughout the year.