Guns in the Wrong Hands
The Albuquerque community often asks police how violent, repeat offenders are able to continue to buy guns and use them to harm our community. The answer to this question is surprising to some and not a shock to others. Some may say this is people being naive, but in reality many in the community just do not know.
Offenders often go window shopping in your neighborhoods.
They look into your vehicle windows, peek into open garages and watch what you're doing. These are often the same actions the criminals who steal vehicles that are left unattended and warming up. The same criminals who often case our neighborhoods and plan their next moves when no one is watching. They'll look for easy opportunities to steal items in plain sight within our vehicles and homes.
We don't want to scare the community, however education is key when it comes to crime prevention.
The Albuquerque Police Department strives to make every neighborhood in the city safe. Organizations like The Neighborhood Watch Program, the Community Policing Councils and www.nextdoor.com are great tools to help build relationships between the community and the police department. However even with programs like this we still need citizens to help us fight crime. This can be done by being aware of your surroundings and aware of what is left out in the open for others to see.
In 2016 the Albuquerque Police Department took 461 Auto Burglary reports where a firearm was reported as stolen. We also took 195 Residential Burglaries where a firearm was reported as stolen. These numbers are not individual firearms, these are reports where multiple firearms could have been taken. This year we have 22 reports of firearms stolen in Auto Burglaries and 14 reports of firearms taken in Residential Burglaries.
Some tips we want to offer the community are -
- To keep your firearms locked in a safe inside your home and keep the safe locked.
- Ensure all doors and windows are secure and the blinds are shut.
- Do NOT leave valuables in plane sight in your vehicles.
- Do NOT leave firearms in vehicles either at home or in public areas.
- In the case weapons are taken, keep serial numbers, makes, model and number of weapons you own.
- Be aware of who is in your neighborhood and report suspicious activity.
If you need help with securing your home or more crime tips. Call any area command substation and ask to speak to the Crime Prevention Specialist.