Is crime causing Albuquerque Walmarts to change their hours?

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Most Walmarts are open 24 hours, but those hours have changed at some stores here in Albuquerque.

Walmart at Coors and I-40, San Mateo near Zuni and Eubank near I-40-they are three locations that Albuquerque Police say keep them busy.

KRQE News 13 has covered everything from shootings to shoplifting and drug busts to deaths at the three stores over the years. Two years ago, police found a body in the trunk of a burned up car behind the Walmart at Coors and I-40.

At Eubank and I-40, police released pictures after armed robbers wheeled a safe with nearly $23,000 in cash from the store. It happened last October around midnight.

At the same spot earlier this month, police say surveillance video shows a man carjacking an 87-year-old.

Something else the three stores, known for being open 24-7, now have in common-signs alerting customers to new hours. The stores will now be open from 6 a.m. to midnight.

“I do come here often. I come here like three times a week, so this is a surprise for me,” said Saybell Taylor.

KRQE News 13 called the Walmart Eubank near I-40 to ask about the hour change. The woman on the phone told KRQE it was because of a lot of theft and violence.

Corporate spokesperson Betsy Hardin said, “I don’t think it’s fair to stock it up to that.”

However, she also told us safety is a top priority and did factor into the decision to close the three stores for six hours overnight.

Customers can see why.

“I don’t come during the nighttime,” said Theresa Ortega. “I try to avoid that just in general just because the world is kind of scary these days.”

The corporate spokesperson said she doesn’t anticipate any changes to other 24-hour Walmarts in the city.

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