ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In an undercover operation involving a fake child and a non-existent job in the medical field, Albuquerque Police detectives say they’ve arrested a man for selling a stolen camera on Craigslist.
It all started earlier this month when Danielle Adkins was at the Roadrunner Little League fields near Montgomery and Juan Tabo.
“It was during my daughter’s baseball game,” Adkins said. “I believe they were watching me. I had taken pictures of the kids and I believe they had seen me with the camera, and they watched me put it away and watched me walk away and turn my back.”
Next thing she knows, her high-end camera is gone from her car along with her wallet and more than $100 in cash.
“[The camera] is what I use for my personal business, so when they took it, it put me out of business,” Adkins said.
That is, until she found it up for sale on Craigslist. The serial numbers matched up. That’s when she contacted detectives at the APD Foothills Substation.
“At that point, what we did is, we set up a meeting time at the Walmart located on Carlisle and Menaul,” a detective told News 13. The detective can’t be named because it’s not the last time he’ll be involved in one of these undercover operations. He doesn’t want to blow his cover for future busts.
The ‘take down’ was captured on Walmart surveillance video on Monday the 23rd. Watch the video above.
“The seller drove up, our detective walked over to the vehicle,” the detective explained. “The detective was acting like he was buying the camera for his daughter who was attending photography school.”
He was also donning bright yellow scrubs, convincing the seller that he worked in the medical field and that he could only meet on his lunch break.
“Once the arrest signal was made to confirm that it was our citizen’s property…we made the take down and took the suspect under arrest,” the detective said.
Those signals can be anything from “lifting your glasses and putting them on top of your head to scratching the back of your head.”
The officers in-waiting moved in and arrested 22-year-old Danay Tran for the 3rd degree felony of receiving or transferring stolen property. Tran reportedly told detectives that he bought the camera from who is likely the original thief for $200, knowing that it was worth thousands more.
The original thief is still out there, but detectives are actively looking for him.
Adkins says shes happy she’ll soon get her camera back.
“It was creative and it was.. [the officers] went above and beyond and I couldn’t have asked for better men to be protecting our community,” she said.