There’s a new push to clean up areas of Albuquerque that have been plagued by crime for years.
Some residents say it needs to start with the local 7-Eleven convenience stores. “Please, please, please stop the sale of liquor at this 7-Eleven,” says Helen Petropoulos.
Residents say they’re fed up with the crime in their neighborhoods. “We wake up to gunshots, someone was murdered there,” Petropoulos says.
At the center of it all, two 7-Eleven stores that sell alcohol and the sketchy crowds they can attract.
“There is plenty of research that does show the connection between alcohol consumption and violent crime. The research and data is there,” says Melinda Frame.
Between January 1 of last year and April 30 of this year, the 7-Eleven on Central and Solano by Nob Hill had more than 400 calls for service that includes vandalism, stabbings and shots fired.
At the Kathryn and San Mateo location, nearly 300 calls that include 13 assaults, shots fired and stolen vehicles.
“This 7-Eleven, this establishment has just been a blight on our neighborhood,” Frame says.
Residents even started a petition to stop the alcohol license transfers at both of those stores as the ownership of those franchises changes hands.
At the liquor hearing Tuesday, city officials said there isn’t any evidence connecting the crime in the area to the sale of alcohol at those stores.
“You can’t just say a lot of bad things about that area, can’t even say a lot of bad things about liquor. It has to be related. Unfortunately, the way the law is now this is not substantial evidence that fits within that,” says Attorney Mark Rhodes.
The liquor hearing officer has 30 days to either approve or deny the license transfers. If they are approved, the state would still have to sign off on it.
The 7-Eleven at San Mateo and Kathryn could be under a lot more scrutiny soon. The city wants to build a massive police station right across the street from it.