Albuquerque stores lock up products in response to retail crime

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Have you tried buying razors, baby formula or anything else locked up at some local shops?

Most shoppers KOB 4 talked to see it as an inconvenience, but at the same time, many have experienced retail theft and understand the stores’ move.

Some say it’s just one more way Albuquerque’s issues are bleeding into every day life.

“Looking for nail clippers, looking for tweezers, looking for face wash, I had to go find an employee to unlock the case,” said Melita Stafford, Target shopper.

A viewer took photos of laundry detergent, lotions, and deodorant being locked up inside the Target at Eubank and Lomas in northeast Albuquerque.

“I understand big ticket items like electronics and stuff like that but the other stuff, I was thrown off because I’ve never seen that before,” said Lornel Baker, Target shopper. 

And Target isn’t the only place, shoppers have seen Walgreen and Walmart in the metro taking the same approach.

“Security can’t really stop anybody, so I guess- I’m guessing it’s the corporations or whatever doing their part to try and lessen that,” said Baker.

KOB 4 went to go check it out for ourselves and sure enough every day items like toothpaste and deodorant were both locked up. 

Meanwhile, APD and the Attorney General’s office have had retail crime on their radar for months. They launched the Organized Retail Crime Initiative last year, that specifically targets serial offenders who police say are often part of larger organized crime.

Two operations in the past year resulted in about 50 arrests.

Shoppers agree these measures are a direct reaction to Albuquerque’s issues. 

“When you live this close to what’s become an unmanageable homeless problem that’s spilling over from Central which is just right down the street, into our neighborhoods and into our parks, you know Walmart has to respond like the rest of us,” said Saul Ramos, Walmart shopper.

Ramos shops at the Walmart near San Mateo and Zuni and he says the issues don’t stop when he leaves the store.

“It’s an inconvenience for me in the store, but I leave the store, and it’s a bigger inconvenience for me outside the store,” said Ramos. 

KOB 4 checked out three specific locations across the city, one of each chain. It’s unclear how many more could take the same measures, so be patient next time you try to stock up.