Video shows thieves steal liquor from Walgreens in NE Albuquerque

[anvplayer video=”5184124″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A video shows thieves calmly stealing dozens of bottles of liquor from a northeast Albuquerque Walgreens, and walking right out the door.

A bystander posted the video on the Nextdoor social media app late last week. It’s since gotten hundreds of angry comments from neighbors, saying they’re sick of this type of behavior in Albuquerque.

“It created such an angry, visceral reaction in me that I felt, this is just insane. This has gone too far,” said Doug Vigil a longtime Albuquerque resident.  

Vigil wasn’t even at the store when the shoplifting happened, but he lives in the area. He believes the video of thieves stealing liquor bottles from the Walgreens near Wyoming and San Antonio should be a breaking point for the city.

“The nerve of these criminals walking in, filling up their bags, taking their time,” said Vigil. “They don’t even seem to care that they’re being filmed. In fact, one of them looked like he was even shopping. He’s picking through bottles, and picking the one he wants, putting it in his bag very casually without any fear of consequences.” 

Vigil says the shoplifting is bad enough, but he was also disappointed in the Walgreen’s employees, and the customers inside for doing nothing to stop it.

“The store employees were silent. No one said anything like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ or ‘Stop that or get out of here?’ Or trying to stop them in any way,” Vigil said.  

He understands many companies have adopted policies preventing employees from getting involved for their own safety. That’s why he wrote his concerns in a letter and sent it off to Walgreen’s corporate leaders.

“Asking them, you know, what the heck is going on here? Why aren’t you doing anything about this? Why are they able to go in, and do this in your store so freely?” said Vigil.  

Vigil says he got a call from the local regional manager a few days later. That manager reportedly revealed the store’s new liquor cases came with the wrong locks, and they’re still working on getting the right ones among other security efforts.

A corporate spokesperson told us the safety of its patients, customers and team members is top priority, and they are cooperating with local law enforcement to address crime issues.

But, according to an APD spokesperson, Walgreens didn’t report the shoplifting when it happened.

“It’s just insanity to me, why wouldn’t they report it? The police can only do something if they know about it,” Vigil said.  

That goes for prosecutors too. The state’s new retail crime law is only useful against criminals who are caught.

Vigil says videos like this prove they’re not worried about that.

“I think the reason they do is because they know they can, and it seems like criminality is legal,” he said. “If this is this kind of activity isn’t stomped on, why wouldn’t you expect it to get worse?” 

An APD spokesperson confirmed they are actively investigating this incident. They say they’ve talked with Walgreens’ corporate leaders to make sure they report these crimes when they happen in the future. 

Vigil says, if anything, this incident should remind people the importance of “see something, say something.”