ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Walmart stores are proving to be a crime magnet, especially lately. Albuquerque Police say Walmart is a one stop shop for thieves and a lot of times, they don’t care about being caught on camera.
Last month, at around 4:00 a.m., two suspects found the perfect opportunity to break into a jewelry case at the Walmart on Carlisle and Menaul.
“They got to know that they’re on camera and they just don’t care. So he’ll produce some type of tool from his person, break in to that jewelry area, and they got away with about $1500 worth of jewelry,” said Officer Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department.
Again last month, two other suspects pulled a quick one on a cashier and managed to make off with $2100. All of that was done by continuously asking the cashier to make change.
“It’s probably the biggest one the detectives here in the Northeast have ever seen. Usually it’s for $100-150 and the person leaves,” said Officer Drobik.
For the past year, Walmart stores around Albuquerque have been the target of thieves. In a presentation from Mayor Berry last week, he talked about Albuquerque’s crime uptick. Mayor Berry pointed out the top locations police respond to, six of those were Walmart stores, with San Mateo and Zuni leading the pack.
Albuquerque Police says in general, Walmart is a tempting place for criminals.
“There’s so much stuff at Walmart, especially at 4am, they have limited people there. The camera system is going to catch them, lost prevention may or may not be there watching you. Less staff, so there’s a lot of target opportunity there for them to steal.”
The crime problem has led to three Walmart locations in Albuquerque to shorten their store hours. They were once open 24-7, now they close at midnight.