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Officer Replaces Siblings' Stolen Bikes with Own Money

Friday’s Hero: Officer Paul Haugh.

August 25, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Officer Paul Haugh as a Friday’s Hero for replacing 15-year-old Juliana and 13-year-old Fabian Almentero’s stolen bikes.

On an afternoon in June 2016, brother and sister, Fabian and Juliana, rode their bikes to a store on San Mateo Boulevard in southeast Albuquerque. They parked their bikes at the front of the store and locked them to a rack using a rope-style lock. After being in the store for only 20 minutes, Fabian and Juliana found that their bikes had been stolen and only pieces of their lock remained on the ground. While patrolling the store, Officer Haugh made contact with the Almentero’s. He knew the siblings previously and when he greeted them, he could tell they were visibly distraught. They explained to Officer Haugh that someone broke their bike lock and stole their bikes. Officer Haugh asked them to contact their father to pick them up, while he tried to identify the suspect through the business’ security cameras. Unfortunately, he was unable to locate the footage of the bikes being stolen.

While waiting for Juliana and Fabian’s father to arrive, Officer Haugh asked Fabian and Julian to go back into the store with him. He then took them to the section that sells bikes, and asked them to pick new ones. Excited and shocked, they both chose a bike to replace their stolen one. Furthermore, Officer Haugh picked two heavy duty, u-bolt locks for the Almentero’s new bikes. Officer Haugh paid for the two bikes, all of which were paid for by Officer Haugh himself.

Because of Officer Haugh’s sincerity and compassion, this past June he was awarded the Bill Daniels True Blue Award, an award that recognizes superior, service-oriented officers in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Daniels Fund was established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels and is a private, charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people in the four states through its grant and scholarship programs and its ethics initiative.

Officer Haugh has been with APD for 10 years in the Southeast Area Command. In Lieutenant Rob Middleton’s nomination of Officer Haugh, he reports that the officer understands his community and has built relationships with many of the area’s young children, creating trust and confidence. It is for these reasons that Officer Paul Haugh was recognized as this week’s City of Albuquerque Friday’s Hero.