More cameras, security planned for Albuquerque’s Uptown area

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Leticia Leyba has had a challenging first three months of business in Uptown Albuquerque.

“If it’s not them trying to break in, them breaking in, them trying to rob at gunpoint, there’s some major issue happening in this area,” Leyba said. “Just yesterday there was an incident, right across the street there was a SWAT situation.”

She opened Groove Boutique, which also opened her eyes to the reality of crime in the area.

“When you’re getting employees saying they’re scared to come into work, you know when my life is getting threatened, when I’m having to pass by the guy every single day that threatened my life, it’s starting to be like ‘OK when’s enough,’” she said.

“We know that retail crime has been a big challenge in this area and all over the city,” Mayor Tim Keller said Thursday, during a news conference to announce new crime-fighting efforts in the area.

The city already added seven cameras to the Uptown area, and two at the Uptown Transit Center. He says APS will also install six new cameras at its Uptown headquarters.

“We are putting folks on notice a little bit like we’ve done downtown, that there is going to be more and more eyes on the streets,” said Keller.

The city also approved 25 new security officer positions to be spread throughout the bus system, called the transit safety division.

“This is a great thing for all of these businesses, everyone who frequents our businesses, and in general safety and retail establishments in our community and in New Mexico,” said Keller.

This announcement comes days before the state’s new retail crime bill goes into effect on July 1, which will establish harsher punishments for repeat offenders.

“I do believe we’re going in the right direction on this way. And we believe in the next 90 days, we’re gonna begin to see a difference,” said Keller.

Leyba isn’t sold but says she will give it some time.

“Let’s see what happens in the next few months,” she said.

APD is also partnering with other stores like Kohl’s in the Uptown area for another operation. In just over a month, APD leaders say they’ve arrested 45 people and recovered $15,000 in stolen merchandise.