Property crime down; businesses still wary
March 28, 2018 10:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Albuquerque property crime statistics seem encouraging. Compared to last year, Albuquerque police have responded to fewer property crimes so far this year compared to the same time last year.
Still, there’s still a vigilante vibe in a South Valley shopping center. When suspected shoplifter James Silva tried to leave PSG Graphics with more than $500 worth in soccer shirts without paying Tuesday afternoon, an employee, a property manager and a business owner were determined to track him down.
"He just came in and grabbed a bunch," said Celene Morales-Vasquez, a PSG Graphics employee.
Morales-Vasquez did something most couldn’t even imagine.
"To be honest, I don't know. I just went after him," Morales-Vasquez she said.
Property manager Mario Gomez and El Rey Del Pollo owner Jaime Perez were eating lunch when they saw Morales-Vasquez chase the man.
"I saw that she was on the phone," Gomez said. "Then we realized the guy had taken merchandise from their place of business."
The trio cornered the suspected shoplifter outside of Pupuseria y Restaurant Salvadoreno until police could arrive. Perez said businesses have gotten more daring after last year's crime wave.
"Well it's to protect each other to protect us," Perez said. "Because we call police and every time we call they take forever or they don't even show up."
Albuquerque police statistics tell a different story. So far this year, the department has responded to 8 percent fewer commercial burglaries and 55 percent fewer robberies. APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said officers are conducting more traffic stops and therefore catching more people with outstanding warrants.
Also, APD and cooperating agencies have used arrest data to determine who is most likely to re-offend. The mugshots of wanted suspects have been advertised on ALeRT billboards.
Still, some South Valley workers are still sore from last year's crime wave.
"I mean, it's something that we feel we have to do because otherwise, nobody else is going to watch out for us," Gomez said.
APD’s Preliminary Crime Data, January to March 2018 vs January to March 2017
- 2017: 2,227
- 2018: 1,654
- Change: -26 percent
- 2017: 1,387
- 2018: 1,227
- Change: -12 percent
- 2017: 336
- 2018: 308
- Change: -8 percent
- 2017: 725
- 2018: 673
- Change: -7 percent
- 2017: 552
- 2018: 246
- Change: -55 percent
Updated: March 28, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: March 28, 2018 09:34 PM
Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved