Community members weigh in on troubled Albuquerque convenience store

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Just last week, Albuquerque officials announced the city is suing the owners of Adam Food Market at Central and Pennsylvania.

City officials estimate they have spent approximately $100,000 for officers’ time responding to more than 500 calls for service at the store in the past year. Since August 2020, the Adam Food Market was the scene of six homicides.

Retired Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Darren White took a video of a fenced area near Adam Food Market Friday morning.

“Like most, I’d read the stories and watched the reports that the city had said that they were going to declare the property a nuisance,” White said. “They made this comment about the people gathering and alluding to the fact that they were being – they were involved in criminal activity. Well, I drive by there all the time, and I’ve seen the – basically the homeless camp that’s on the city street, right next to it.”

The former sheriff turned news radio host posted the video on Twitter, along with the question for listeners about who should share responsibility for cutting down crime in the area – the business or the city?

The City of Albuquerque is moving forward with the lawsuit that would shutter the market for three years at the owner’s expense.

White said he got other calls from the owners of nearby businesses, who worried they might be next.

“He didn’t want to identify where his business was,” White said. “He said, it if shuts down, he said, you know, those camps are just going to continue to move like they do. I had one person who called in that has a business only a few blocks away. He said, I don’t know if I can continue to operate in this environment, because it’s just not healthy.”

Albuquerque City Council President Pat Davis stands by the city’s plan to go after multiple problem properties in the metro, including Adam Food Market.

“At least in this case, you have a manager and store employees who have engaged in gunfights in their own parking lot with their customers,” Davis said. “I think that sends a whole different message about what the expectation is.”

In response to the video White posted on Twitter, Davis also had a response.

“It’s not a crime to be homeless,” Davis said.

A KOB 4 crew went to the store Tuesday and saw police patrolling the parking lot and the surrounding area. An APD spokesperson says the city does work to clear sidewalks and streets often, but after they do that, the same people come right back.