#abq4ward: Police calls reveal riskiest spots for property crime
August 25, 2017 08:18 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Safety matters when it comes to where people live, shop or spend their time. For criminals, opportunity matters when it comes to making a quick buck.
4 Investigates collected 2017 data regarding auto thefts, auto burglaries, burglaries and robberies from the Albuquerque Police Department.
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Computer-aided dispatch calls reveal 13 burglaries were reported from January to May at Wyoming Terrace. The trailer park located at 9000 Zuni Road SE is home to more than 400 families in southeast Albuquerque. It’s also a familiar place for police.
Park manager Ofelia Estrada and office manager Nayeli Alvarez aren’t afraid to call 911. The women started working at the trailer park in January and are trying to be tough on crime. They spotted two squatters in late June trading drugs for guns.
Estrada and Alvarez have confronted suspected criminals before.
"If they pull a knife from far away, we take pictures,” Alvarez said.
"We have our management [backing us up],” Estrada said.
Residents in Wyoming Terrace told 4 Investigates that not everyone reports a home break-in because they feel the burglar won’t get caught.
Wyoming Terrace isn’t the only place plagued with crime. Police records reveal the Metro PCS on Eubank has been robbed at gunpoint early every other week since the beginning of this year.
“In one week, we got robbed twice,” Katia Baltier said, a manager at Metro PCS. “It's usually on Sundays when it happens."
Out of the 10 robberies that occurred in the shopping strip at 435 Eubank NE since January, seven of them were at the Metro PCS phone store. Eight surveillance cameras in the store don’t stop the robbers.
Ironically, the thieves don’t take phones, said Baltier. They demand cash.
“You don't know if they're going to shoot or not or if they're on drugs,” Baltier said.
Baltier has been held up herself.
"If it's going to happen, it's going to happen anywhere,” she said. "All of them have been armed robberies."
Pristine concrete facades and glass displays are a shopper’s oasis for some, but an opportunity for others. Police calls reveal 22 car-break-ins and 11 vandalism incidents have occurred in the Winrock Shopping Center parking lot in 2017.
"Well, to me it's brand new,” Stephanie Boone said. “I didn't think that would be happening around here, but I guess so."
Though private security is present in the shopping center parking lot, car burglars have still evaded guards.
The place where you’re most likely to have your car stolen is also the place where you’re most likely to shop — Coronado Center Shopping Mall.
"They're out shopping and they [car thieves] think they can get into the vehicles,” Michelle Tewa said.
At least 22 cars parked at Coronado have been taken for a spin by someone else other than their owners since January 2017.
"Well I'm not a criminal or anything but I'm thinking this is the place that the criminals will be,” Dion Sanders said.
4 Investigates asked the Albuquerque Police Department what officers are doing to deter crime from the blocks that are hit the most. Lt. Joe Burke works in the Northeast Area Command — the same jurisdiction that includes Coronado and Winrock malls.
“What we do here in the Northeast Area Command is we have an overtime operation with our plain clothes unit,” Burke said.
Burke tells 4 Investigates that the undercover detectives are sometimes more effective than police in uniform when trying to bust property crime suspects.
"The more information we have, the better we can allocate our resources,” Burke said.
Updated: August 25, 2017 08:18 PM
Created: July 20, 2017 08:00 PM
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