New video shows neighbors approaching alleged shoplifters at Walgreens
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two new videos, taken days apart, show different neighbors approaching different alleged shoplifters at a northeast Albuquerque Walgreens.
It’s a location KOB 4 reported on many times.
A video of liquor thieves at the same Walgreens went viral over the summer. APD Chief Harold Medina later used it as an example in a letter to the company, asking it to get involved in fighting retail crime.
Neighbors say theft isn’t slowing down, even after this location was in the spotlight. Their concern is if alcohol and other items keep walking out the door, it’s only a matter of time until this location closes.
They say they’re willing to put their personal safety at risk for the sake of the neighborhood convenience.
Paul Jessen didn’t expect a brief interrogation during his weekday errand run last week. Jessen is the man behind the camera, asking questions of an alleged shoplifter in northeast Albuquerque.
“Did you steal those? No. You didn’t buy them? I just bought them, why’s everybody asking me? You got the receipt?”
“Well it’s against the law to steal. Oh well I didn’t steal. Ok. I got the receipt. You do? Where?”
He backed off, but says another man walked up with three more cases of beer moments later.
“They started changing their outer clothing and putting the beer cases in large bags,” said Jessen.
Before he knew it, they were gone.
“The 12 o’clock bus picked them up and drove on to Central,” Jessen said.
He says he’s witnessed shoplifting here many times, always from Walgreens.
“It seems to be easy pickings for the shoplifters,” said Jessen.
Another neighbor took a video over the weekend showing two more alleged thieves. He follows them into the street and things escalate.
“What do they say about photographs? Photos? They say a thousand words, right?” said Jessen. “It’s my right out here to report, they want people to report.”
It was community reporting that put this location in the spotlight months ago.
The viral video of liquor thieves helped APD make multiple arrests, and motivated Medina to write a letter to Walgreens, asking it to get involved in fighting retail crime.
The letter asked the company to limit direct access to alcohol, hire a security guard, and report all shoplifting incidents to APD.
Jessen says most alcohol is locked up, but hasn’t seen a security guard.
Albuquerque police installed parking lot cameras connected to the Real Time Crime Center, but neighbors fear it’s not enough.
“When this corporation decides that they’re losing so much money that they’re in the red, they’ll close it,” said Jessen.”If there’s no accountability, the behavior will continue.”
APD reps told KOB 4 they didn’t have anything to add about these alleged crimes, but pointed to the new law the department helped pass that allows for more consequences for repeat offenders.
Walgreens reps say they look forward to more work with APD to address the issues.
Samantha Stansberry, a representative from Walgreens, issued this statement to KOB 4:
Our team is consistently collaborating with the Albuquerque PD and fellow retail partners to share information in order to quickly identify subjects from criminal incidents. We are also working with third party vendors which specialize in crime prevention and aggregate cases for criminal prosecution.