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APD Provides Public Safety Tips During State Fair and Balloon Fiesta

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As the Albuquerque Police Department prepares to keep the public safe during the New Mexico State Fair and next month’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, APD is providing tips for residents and visitors to take to keep themselves and their belongings safe.

“We want residents and guests to enjoy Albuquerque and take advantage of State Fair and the world-class Balloon Fiesta,” APD Chief Mike Geier said. “We also want them to have a safe experience, which is why we are dedicating police resources to protect everyone who visits our city.

“We also need help from visitors who plan to attend these events to take steps to protect their vehicles and belongings. These are the same steps we ask residents of Albuquerque to take every day so they are not targets of car thieves and burglars.”

The State Fair runs from Sept. 6 – 16; and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from Oct. 6 – 14.

• Always roll up windows, lock the doors and take the keys even if you will be away for a short time.
• Remove ALL items from your vehicle whenever possible, but at the very least remove items from view – even items that might have the perception of value. Don’t give a car thief a reason to break in.
• Do not leave unsecured firearms in your car. Thieves know that some people travel with firearms for safety, and historically, they have targeted visitors at large events like the State Fair.
• Some auto burglars break-in to steal your identity – consider removing your registration and insurance paperwork from the glove box. Put them in your pocket with your driver’s license. The law only requires the paperwork be in the vehicle when it’s being operated.
• Park your vehicle in an area with adequate lighting and good natural surveillance. You want your vehicle to be easily seen.

APD is implementing tactical plans for the State Fair and the Balloon Fiesta. The Traffic Division will focus on both pedestrian and increased vehicle traffic around the fair, while the DWI unit will be on alert for drunk drivers. There are also plans for sobriety checkpoints during the fair to keep streets safe.

APD’s Auto Theft Unit will aggressively work to keep visitors’ vehicles safe from theft and burglaries, continuing a successful partnership with the New Mexico State Police, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico Auto Theft Prevention Authority. During last year’s Balloon Fiesta, a tactical plan resulted in no break-ins or auto thefts at the main hotels where visitors stayed.

The State Fair has almost half a million visitors during its run. With such large crowds, parents should take extra precautions to ensure children are within eyesight at all times. Look for the New Mexico State Police Mobile Command Unit on Main Street to Tag Your Tot.