Suspected serial shoplifter could face federal charges

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –A man suspected of being a serial shoplifter in Albuquerque is now up against federal charges. Thanks to surveillance footage, employees from a local Albuquerque gun shop were able to identify the man believed to be the gun thief and found out it wasn’t the first time he was accused of taking what isn’t his.

Mark Abramson owns Los Ranchos Gun Shop and like many business owners, he has to keep a close eye out for shoplifters. However, on November 30, one slipped through the cracks. “We saw that there was a gap where we would have expected a gun to be, we then were able to search our records, look at tapes and discovered that the gun had been shoplifted,” said Abramson. 


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Surveillance video shows what appears to be Sean Monroe looking at firearms displayed on the wall, before taking one gun and walking towards the other corner of the store. 

Employees at the shop were eventually able to identify Monroe after seeing his mug shot on TV after he was accused of stealing from another retailer a few days later. “Once we saw the video clips of his arrest at another retailer we identified him right away. We have already seen the tapes and were able to make that identification and then immediately contacted the authorities,” Abramson said.

Abramson explains under the store’s license, they have a responsibility to make sure no gun leaves the store with someone, without having a federal background check. When things like this happen, swift action must be taken. “When someone steals a gun like that whether they break-in in the middle of the night or steal it during the day we have a heightened responsibility. We have to call the police, we have to call the feds, and get a whole process involved,” said Abramson.

He says shoplifting has always been an issue but now, more than ever, people need to keep a closer eye out. “Create hurdles so they cannot simply get in, pick something up and leave, and that’s what we’ve done since this incident,” Abramson said.

According to a criminal complaint, Monroe admitted to law enforcement that he took the gun to feed a drug habit and said that on the day of the theft, he used it to pay off his debt. Online records show, in the past, Monroe has faced charges for shoplifting, drugs, and having burglary tools. Many of his charges were eventually dropped. 

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