SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – It is no secret crime is a problem in the state, and Santa Fe is no exception. Police say violent crime has stayed steady but property crime is on the rise.
Deputy Chief Matthew Champlin with the Santa Fe Police Department, said, “In 2019, our burglaries in August, our motor vehicles burglaries we have actually seen a decrease from 2019 in August than this year. A nine-percent decrease. Shoplifting I will say, we have had our fair share of increase in shoplifting and theft.”
According to Santa Fe police, the rate of residential, commercial, and auto burglaries has continued to go up over the past few years. According to department data, so far this year, there have been nearly 500 burglaries nearly 80% more than all last year. Shoplifting and other types of theft, as well as robberies, have also seen a spike.
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Police say the higher numbers do not necessarily mean more people are committing crimes. Rather, the same people are committing more crimes.
One example: less than two weeks ago, Jesus Gonzalez was arrested for leading police on a chase after stealing from the Home Depot in Santa Fe. Turns out, he is awaiting trial for breaking into homes back in 2016. And there are lots of others like him.
“Two of these individuals this year that have been charged with crimes related to like motor vehicle theft 17 different charges so you have people that are going out there creating a lot of havoc for the rest of the community,” said Deputy Chief Champlin.
Santa Fe police say they recently arrested four people who are responsible for the 32 different burglaries across the city. To help tackle the issue of robberies and burglaries, Santa Fe police are conducting retail crime operations similar operations to what the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is doing.
Santa Fe police have also shored up staffing by hiring 13 new officers since January. That brings their total to 146 officers. They still have 23 vacancies.