New Mexico lawmakers attempt to tackle state’s car theft problem


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Car theft has become such an epidemic in New Mexico, especially in Albuquerque, legislators are attempting to tackle the problem.

With a reported 8,500 cars stolen in New Mexico in a single year, lawmakers say it’s time to do something to help stop it.

Members in both the House and Senate have introduced bills that would let auto recyclers know when someone is trying to sell a stolen car to them. If passed, the law would create a server linked to MVD where salvage yards submit information about the car being sold to them. If the vehicle comes up flagged as stolen, they’re supposed to call law enforcement and hand over the name of who was trying to sell it.

Tuesday afternoon, the Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and State Police supported the legislators as they announced their plan.

“I truly believe if we’re able to address the sale of vehicles that are stolen, and really stifle that, it’ll help. It’s not the end all, but it certainly is a move in the right direction,” Pete Kassetas, New Mexico State Police Chief, said.

The FBI reports more than 6,500 cars were stolen just in Albuquerque in 2015. Law enforcement says this database would give them the tools not only to recover stolen cars, but figure out who’s committing these crimes to expand investigations.

Albuquerque is ranked as the number two city in the nation for car theft by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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