Police advise residents how to prevent theft at garage sales


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many people are spending the summer months de-cluttering, and some people chose to do that by inviting strangers to shop for their stuff at garage sales.

But the Albuquerque Police Department is warning that they may also be browsing for things that aren’t for sale.

Garage sales could be a perfect opportunity for criminals to take advantage of you, which is why APD wants homeowners to take safety precautions before looking to make a few bucks on their stuff.

Just last month, an Albuquerque couple captured a crook taking off with some of their NFL jerseys. While they had surveillance video of the incident to help guide police, not everyone is equipped with home security cameras.

Crime Prevention Manager Steve Sink says the best thing you can do is have a yard sale with someone else. Working in pairs will allow one person to handle the cash and the other to walk around mingling with people.

“If somebody comes in and distracts you, their partner might be doing something else. It maintains order but also that safety in numbers concept,” said Sink.

Despite the name “garage sale,” Sink advises not to have the sale in your actual garage and to keep the sale in the yard or driveway. This keeps shoppers from wandering too far or even inside your home.

“It might not so much be an opportunity to steal it at that moment in time. But it’s certainly an opportunity to view what you have for future reference,” said Sink.

When it comes to cash handling, keep it hidden, start with a small amount, as you collect more money, put it away in a safe place, and don’t accept large bills, it could be counterfeit.

As you start winding down the sale, experts say you should start consolidating the items into one place so you can keep track of them better.

According to the City of Albuquerque’s Code Enforcement, these are the rules for yard sales:

– One garage/yard sale allowed once every twelve months

– A sale may not exceed 3 days in length

– Only normally accumulated household goods can be sold

– Only 1 non-illuminated sign, no more than 6 square feet in total area

– No signs in medians or on utility poles

– Call the City’s Code Enforcement office at 924-3850 for questions

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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