Tourists advised to guard purses
Posted at: 08/17/2012 5:55 PM
| Updated at: 08/17/2012 6:59 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
With an increase in tourism expected this fall, the Albuquerque Police Department is warning Old Town visitors to be on guard for purse thieves.
"A lot of tourists carrying cash," Officer Tasia Martinez said. "It is a possibility that these offenders are preying on the tourists and hoping that those tourists have that extra cash."
In fact, while KOB Eyewitness News 4 cameras were in Old Town, we spotted a purse sitting left unattended.
One vendor told KOB he’s heard how thieves strike.
"What generally happens here is there are a lot of people on bicycles and because you can't keep up with them, that's how a lot of the snatchings happen," vendor Josh Goodluck said.
Police warn the snatching can escalate into violence.
The department released surveillance video showing an armed robbery inside the Little Anita’s restaurant in Old Town. The video shows a man in pajama bottoms entering the restaurant and pulling out a gun. The employee struggles to get the register open, and when she does, the robber grabs the money and runs.
"This is more of a concern not only for little Anita’s, but for the entire Old Town area," Officer Martinez said.
Martinez said the department plans on using undercover detectives to catch purse thieves. She said police are also looking for information regarding the armed robbery at Little Anita’s.