ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque business owners are fed up. One of the biggest commercial property owners in Albuquerque is paying $100,000 to protect their property, but they feel it’s a lost cause and are demanding change. Doug Peterson, President of Peterson Properties, says crime in the city is so out of control he’s had to take matters into his own hands to protect his properties.

“It’s worse than I’ve ever seen it,” said Peterson, when talking about crime in the city. “We are just inundated with trespassers, property damagers, people who are committing burglaries, almost everyone is drug addicted,” Peterson said.

Pictures taken on Peterson’s properties show exactly what he’s dealing with. People passed out on his properties with drug paraphernalia, graffiti and vandalism, and walls being ripped open so thieves can steal wiring. With 50 properties in Albuquerque, Peterson says he’s spending $100,000 a month, on private security, surveillance cameras, and repairing property damage.

He says if the law is enforced, even when it comes to minor offenses like loitering, a lot of the issues he’s forced to deal with could be prevented. KRQE News 13 asked Mayor Keller, during a press conference on retail crime, Wednesday morning, if they plan to buckle down on minor crimes in an attempt to prevent more serious crime. He says they already do, but points to the Albuquerque Police Department’s limited resources.

“You try to explain the value of officers responding to violent crime and lives being lost, versus the inconvenience of someone being outside your street for half a day,” said Mayor Keller. “We have to make tough choices and we will save a life every time before worrying about someone who is an inconvenience,” Keller said.

Despite all of the money spent, Peterson says it’s a never-ending battle. APD Chief Harold Medina says property crime is down, that’s including residential burglary and auto theft. APD says they do respond to loitering calls, sending us two from Tuesday night that they responded to.