ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — One Old Town business believes it’s a target for vandals and thieves. It was recently hit four times in just five days.
When an Albuquerque business owner recently arrived to open up for the day, she found mocking messages, a menacing confession and thousands of dollars worth of equipment — gone. Not only that, but necessities like markers, cleaning supplies and the inexpensive lanterns they use every night for business were taken, too.
“We’ve had this location for ten years. Ten years. And this is the first time we’ve ever had a problem, and now to have four problems in five days,” said business owner Julia Brown.
Brown’s business was broken into not once, not twice, but four times in less than a week.
“They broke the front door, they broke the window, broke the back door, broke the door jam and, now, it’s just out of spite,” she said.
Brown runs the popular tourist attraction, History and Ghost Tours of Old Town, but her ticket booth is virtually unrecognizable, right now. All the windows, even the door, are broken.
Her ticket booth looks like she’s closed up shop for good. Boards replace windows and the door won’t stay shut.
At first, Brown thought she was just another victim, but by day three, she decided this was not normal.
“I feel like, now, I’m being targeted. It seems like the people were probably upset, we called the police,” Brown explained.
Other Old Town business owners say they feel for Brown.
“This is very demoralizing for her,” said Karen Aceves.
Aceves and her husband own a basket shop just a stone’s throw from Brown’s booth. She says the area sees its share of break-ins and shoplifting, her place included.
Yet, the last four hits on Brown’s business felt different. Now, Brown is on high-alert.
“People always ask if I feel safe in Old Town. Even at night, I’ve felt safe down here, but I don’t know now,” said Brown.
Business owners say they’d like to see more police presence in the area. There’s a private security firm that patrols, but only from noon to six.
Police tell us they’re aware of an uptick in criminal activity and say they’re working to address the issue.