Updated: November 24, 2020 06:28 PM
Created: November 24, 2020 06:00 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Operating a business, especially during the pandemic, is extremely difficult. On top of all the uncertainty, a local Albuquerque business said they were just hit by a thief.
Game Time Smoke Shop opened a few months ago on Central. It first started off as a thrift shop, but when operations slimmed down due to the pandemic, it became a smoke shop.
“You don't see too many trying to start up because of the COVID because it's a real difficult situation. It’s real hard. Customers aren't wanting to come into a store as much as going online,” said owner Robert Uribes.
Uribes said the thief was a regular customer. Earlier this month he came in and tried to purchase around $400 worth of goods, but his card wasn’t working. That’s when he grabbed the bag and walked out the door.
“Just straight up left his debit card,” said Kevin Owens, an employee.
Owens, who was working then, said the thief jumped in his car then sped off before even closing his car door.
“It was a regular customer that we've built up a small trust for. This really does affect us when we like to interact with our customers on a personal level,” Uribes said.
Uribes said he filed a police report. They said the card and suspect’s name hasn’t done any good in terms of tracking him or the stolen goods down.
As the pandemic continues, Uribes said every penny counts to small business owners like him.
“A $400 blow with merchandise— that really hurts us because we're barely trying to stay, to keep our head above water with the rent and utilities and everything. That just kind of knocks us down even more now,” he said.
Uribes said they are looking to make some changes to how they do business to prevent this from happening again.
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