4 Investigates: Albuquerque hotels draw hundreds of police calls
November 14, 2018 10:22 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Police have been called to several Albuquerque hotel properties hundreds of times in the past year for a variety of crimes -- from cart thefts to shootings, according to police records obtained by 4 Investigates.
According to APD records, police were called to the Motel 6 located right off Coors at least 272 times in a one-year period. At the Bow & Arrow Lodge located on Central, APD was called at least 154 times in the same time period.
Albuquerque City Councilman Pat Davis said, for years, the city lacked a willingness to go after so-called nuisance properties. However, under a new administration, Davis said there’s a new approach – which makes hotel owners more accountable for crimes on their property.
“It’s not just the city fighting back, the court is willing to back us up,” said Davis.
Earlier this year, the City of Albuquerque filed a lawsuit against the Sahara Motel – a property where police were called out roughly 500 times in a two-year period.
However, following new court-ordered changes, the Sahara Motel now has a new property manager and it operates more like an apartment, instead of a hotel. Since that change, Councilman Davis said the number of calls to police dropped by 50 percent.
“If you want a sort of scumbag motel in Albuquerque right now you look at what happened in the Sahara and you realize that you could be next,” said Davis.
One property of interest is the Bow & Arrow Lodge on Central. Stolen cars are often recovered at the property and back in April, a woman was found shot to death.
“I notice a lot of people. They’ll just kick it right in the front and they bring a lot of heat with the cops and stuff so we like to help the manager and tell them they need to get up and go because for a lot of us that’s our home,” said one woman who lives at the Bow & Arrow Lodge.
Councilman Davis said that property owners are responsible for ensuring the property is a safe place.
“We have crime-free housing laws on the books that say if someone rents a hotel room from you, the owner is responsible to at least be sure there’s a safe place,” said Davis.
4 Investigates took those concerns to the manager of the Bow & Arrow: Patty Patel. She refused to be interviewed but said off-camera that she lives at the Bow & Arrow and she feels safe, despite the high number of calls for service.
Declaring properties a public nuisance usually requires proving it in court. However, city leaders said they’ve beefed up their safe city strike force which includes police, code inspectors and the fire marshal – all working to identify problem properties before they get out of hand.
“Neighbors are starting to demand we do more to address these problem properties and quite frankly we should,” said Councilman Davis.
4 Investigates contacted managers for every hotel mentioned in the report. None agreed to an interview or a comment on how they deal with the crime volume at their property.
City officials said if hotel owners won’t make necessary changes, the city will take action.
Updated: November 14, 2018 10:22 PM
Created: November 14, 2018 09:03 PM
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