Albuquerque Police stats show car crime on the rise

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There’s been a lot of talk recently about car crime, but is it really up? Newly released Albuquerque Police stats provide the answer.

It’s can be hard to keep up with all the car theft in Albuquerque these days. Two trucks owned by military members, a mom’s van and an RV were all taken recently.

When he woke up Friday morning, Isaac Barba realized he’s yet another victim.

“Around 7 o’clock I went outside to go to leave and my car was just gone,” said Barba.

The car was swiped from outside Barba’s home near Coal and Buena Vista. Barba was about to sell it.

Barba said, “I really don’t have money to buy another car, that’s why I was selling my car, to get another one. So I’m just concerned about that and I am pretty upset.”

Barba’s car completely disappeared this time, but had also been broken into twice in the past.

“It makes me feel just unsafe,” said Barba.

APD stats confirm both car thefts and burglaries are climbing rapidly. By this point in 2015, about 1,600 car break-ins had been reported. This year so far, Albuquerque has had more than 1,900 car break-ins.

When it comes to thefts, at this time last year about 900 cars had been stolen. So far this year, Albuquerque has already had 1,200 cars stolen.

APD says it’s not exactly clear why the numbers are up, but they’re frustrated too.

“This is turnstile justice, they’re just out. Once we grab these guys, the guys aren’t even ending their shift and the guy’s out of jail already, back up to his old tricks,” said Officer Simon Drobik.

Having to respond to all those calls puts a strain on the department, but they say residents can do more to help APD and themselves by simply keeping your personal belongings out of sight.

“A crook is going to look inside your car and if you leave your laptop, your phone, they’re gonna get it,” Drobik said.

Despite the rise in car crime, not all property crime is up. Home burglaries have actually gone down this year so far.

APD suggests vin etching to make your car less attractive to thieves. That’s when your car’s vin number is etched into your windshield. APD periodically does it for free.

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