**Editor’s Note: APD said the video does not depict the teens that were connected to Syndey Wilson’s death stealing from Walgreens. The following version of the story has been corrected to include updated details from law enforcement.**
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police Department (APD) shared surveillance video of people carrying bottles of booze out of a west side Walgreens. This, among other incidents, prompted the department to send a letter to the store about security concerns.
Authorities said the video was, at least, one of four robberies at that specific Walgreens over that weekend.
In a case separate from the recently released video, teens were accused of stealing alcohol from Walgreens before they drove around in a stolen car. After a while, they reportedly encountered the car’s owner, Sydney Wilson, near Central and Coors. She had tracked her car down with the GPS on her phone.
Police said the teens crashed the car after she confronted them, and they tried to flee on foot. However, that’s not the end of their interaction. Marcos Barela, 13, is accused of shooting and killing Wilson. He’s now charged with murder.
This incident, coupled with another viral shoplifting case at a different Walgreens, prompted APD to send a letter to the drugstore and urge them to make major changes to their security.
APD Chief Harold Medina gave a public warning to the chain store on August 4, 2023.
“Walgreens has to take ownership for their store, for their product, and they have to develop [a] process which helps ensure that their alcohol is not being stolen and is not compounding to a community issue or problems surrounding their locations,” he said at the time.
About 10 days later on August 14, he published a letter to the company’s district offices.
According to the letter, since January 2022, APD has responded to 1,000 calls for service at just five Walgreens along the Central Avenue corridor. It said the location on Eubank has seen a 20% increase in calls for service in the last six months. In the letter, APD said these calls for service alone cost taxpayers $125,000.
“It is not the responsibility of the Albuquerque Police Department and the taxpayers of the City of Albuquerque to put an officer at every single Walgreens that sells alcohol,” Chief Medina said at an August 4 press conference.
Chief Medina is calling on the chain store to step up. In the letter, he suggested the store limit when liquor can be sold and how it’s sold. He suggested having customers place orders which employees then fulfill, only giving staff access to the liquor department.
Chief Medina also urged Walgreens to hire security guards and connect its cameras to APD’s Real Time Crime Centers, so law enforcement can get surveillance video easier.
Lastly, he suggested Walgreens implement a policy, so employees would have to report shoplifting and alcohol theft to APD.