ALBUQERQUE (KRQE) – Recent store break-ins in the Nob Hill area have left business owners fed up. The latest shop to fall victim to vandalism is the Stranger Factory Art Gallery.
A large window at the storefront near Central and Carlisle was smashed in around 4 a.m. Monday, according to employee Karl Deuble. The vandalism left pieces of artwork damaged. At least one paper maché skull was stolen, one of the cheaper items in the art gallery, Deuble said.
By comparison, the damage done to the artwork in a display case and replacing the window was more expensive, he said.
The nearby Ascension Body-Mod Tattoo and Piercing Shop had a front window busted in during the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 17.
“It’s just frustrating for a business owner to have to pay for new windows and new doors and things like that, repeatedly,” said Steve Truitt, owner of Ascension.
Truitt released surveillance footage to News 13 showing two suspects approaching his business. One used a large rock to break a window. He grabbed some small items, including inexpensive jewelry from a display case, and the pair took off. He said the vandals returned roughly 30 minutes later and attempted to kick in a door. That door had to be replaced, Truitt said.
The Aveda Salon at the Nob Hill Business Center recently had a window damaged, a store employee said.
An Albuquerque Police Department spokesman said a recent crime analysis did not show that the Nob Hill area had become a “hot spot” for burglaries. Officer Tanner Tixier said that last year, the area did see an increase in commercial burglaries and business windows were damaged by rocks. APD targeted the area and made arrests, he said.
While investigating the latest crimes, APD officers told employees at Stranger Factory and Ascension that their response time to these types of calls is delayed, whenever it’s not a crime in progress, because of a lack of manpower.
“The police officer said they’re running low on officers to patrol the streets, so hopefully we’ll get some more police officers cruising around,” said Deuble.