APD working to curb career criminals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Albuquerque Police have picked up at least 10 career burglars in the past week. One man claims he was popping pills and can’t remember what he did.

Now, APD has a plan to help stop these guys from striking again.

“If we can work on getting them help at the property crimes level, hopefully it will reduce the number of violent encounters that we have,” explained Commander Harold Medina, with Albuquerque Police Department Property Crimes.

Kyle Patrick Avery, 26, is a perfect example of someone police want to stop. Detectives said he’s connected to at least 20 burglaries and admits to using drugs.

When a neighbor called police to report a burglary in the Northeast Heights recently, the license plate led detectives to Avery, a very familiar face.

“One of the biggest issues that we seem to have, is repeat offenders,” said Medina.

Avery is one of them. In his 26 years, detectives have linked Avery to at least 20 burglaries.

This past week, police arrested a handful of career criminals with 20 to 30 arrests under their belt for property crimes.

“We do not necessarily have a burglary problem, a lot of the times we have a drug problem which is leading to our burglary problem,” said Medina.

When police interviewed Avery, he told them he took Xanax and got high. According to him, the next thing he remembered is “seeing a large amount of someone’s property strewn throughout his apartment.” He told police he sold everything for $150.

When detectives told Avery a witness saw him kick in a door, and drive off in his grandma’s car, Avery said, “well if it was my grandmother’s car and the guy saw me, then I must have done it.”

Avery is back in jail, but residents are frustrated.

“It is a revolving door and it has been for as long as I’ve been here, since 1951,” said Jack Williams, who lives near a home police said Avery recently burglarized.

Commander Medina said officers are getting more training to deal with criminals like Avery.

“That’s our whole goal is to not just focus on the arrest portion of it, but to also make sure that we’re giving them (criminals) information, and we’re giving them a means to help themselves,” said Medina.

They also want the public to be aware, adding, one call for suspicious activity can often solve dozens of crimes.

“I think that’s why it’s important that this become a community effort, not just an effort by the Albuquerque Police Department.”

Medina said the vast majority of burglaries happen from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when most people are at work. Officers are increasing patrols during that time to keep an eye out.

The property crimes Commander said APD will make sure officers are working with repeat offenders to get them the help they need, such as rehab.

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