ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was an eventful Saturday morning at an Albuquerque Fire station in Northeast. What has been an ongoing car burglary problem culminated with firefighters holding down a woman driving a stolen truck.
Albuquerque Fire Station Nine on Menaul near Eubank has been the target of repeat car burglars for years.
Early Saturday morning around 5:30 a.m., firefighters noticed two men trying to break into one of their personal trucks parked right outside.
Firefighters scared the thieves away. They hopped in one of two trucks brought to the scene, but came back.
Later in the morning, police say firefighters saw Jennifer Christensen, a repeat burglary and auto theft offender, getting into one truck left behind. Firefighters ran after her as she tried getting away. A fire battalion chief’s vehicle blocked her in and firefighters grabbed her from the truck.
“They were holding her down waiting for the police to arrive and they took control of the situation and helped us all,” said a nearby neighbor who saw it all happen from her home.
Police say during her attempted escape, a firefighter was also knocked to the ground.
“When the police called me this morning, the truck was missing from the driveway and they said they had it down here,” said Jim, who owns the truck involved Saturday morning.
He says he is happy to have his truck back.
“I feel pretty lucky about that, it’s damaged a little bit,” he said.
As for the on-going theft problem at Station Nine, firefighters have asked the city for help, they were told to park at the Century Link parking lot nearby.
“It’s frustrating, this isn’t the only station this has happened to unfortunately, but yeah it’s frustrating for all of us,” Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey said.
“People that are protecting us and you’re taking from them, that’s just wrong,” the neighbor who saw it all happen explained.
Firefighters have even installed a surveillance camera across the street to catch the crooks.
Albuquerque Police Chief, Gordon Eden says there is a bigger problem.
“For some reason people don’t think that these property offenders are dangerous and they’re being released right and left out of the detention center,” Chief Eden said.
Christensen is being booked on six felony warrants out of Albuquerque and one from Torrance County. She’s facing two counts of aggravated battery and receiving and transferring stolen vehicles.