New Uptown boutique shop on edge after multiple break-ins

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A boutique owner’s dream became clouded with nightmare after nightmare within weeks of opening her doors in Uptown.

Leticia Leyba’s dream was simple – to sell clothes at her business, Groove Boutique.

“I wanted to bring a new concept to Albuquerque, a new boutique, trying to get the boutique kind of scene going here in Albuquerque,” Leyba said.

She underestimated the cost of making that dream a reality, though.

A woman also crashed through the storefront last year, setting back opening day by about nine months.

Right before opening, a man tried breaking in but only broke the boutique’s door.

A week later, multiple people took more than $5,000 worth of product.

The next week, more thieves stole another $2,000 worth of product.

After that third break-in, we talked to Leyba.

“It’s personal at this point. I’ll be right here. It’s no big deal,” she said.

Then, the next day, a man threatened Leyba as she tried opening the store.

“He threatened to shoot me and he said he was going to kill me. He said that we were married at one point but I didn’t recognize him because he was of a different ethnicity at the time,” Leyba said.

Pei Wei employees confirm it happened but didn’t want to go on camera.

Since that break-in, Leyba is implementing her own precautions.

“I have a bat behind my counter. I have a taser and I have mase. We keep our door locked,” she said.

She’ll also have a sign in her window soon too, warning potential criminals about the lengths she’ll go to protect her business.

“I have gotten my concealed carry and I do plan on keeping myself armed at all times because it’s like living in the wild wild west in Albuquerque. I’m not the only one. I’m far from the only one that’s going through this. It’s an epidemic in Albuquerque and small businesses are being targeted because we are the easy targets,” Leyba said.

In the meantime, she has a speech prepared to bring to the city council next week. She also doesn’t plan to stop there.

“I am not going to let this take me down and I have a voice. I have a strong voice and I plan on using it,” Leyba emphasized.

After the string of break-ins earlier this month, APD promised to install cameras connected to the city’s real-time crime center. Leyba says they delivered on that promise days later.