Skip to main content

City Targeting Retail Crime and Transit Safety

APD creates new transit safety division, adds cameras and retail crime operations
June 29, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, City leaders announced additional strategies to deter crime in the uptown area and on public transportation. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) is creating a new transit safety division focused on making City buses and stops safer. New cameras have been added in the area and operations targeting retail crime will continue.

"The safety and well-being of our residents is our top priority, and we know that retail crime is an issue that hurts everyone, from business owners to shopper and transit riders,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are not turning a blind eye to theft in Albuquerque, and we are going to target the individuals committing these crimes and show our community that we have their back.”

Last year, APD gained access to the cameras at APS facilities, including the cameras at their City Center, where APD has seen many people running through after they commit a crime in the area. APD has added seven new cameras along Louisiana and two at the Uptown Transit Center. The Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) also has access to over 1,100 cameras on ABQ Ride’s fleet.

APD has been working with ABQ Ride to make City buses and buses stops safer for passengers and drivers. The Department is creating a new transit safety division to focus on curbing crime on the public transportation system. To provide immediate relief, APD is conducting a 90 operation targeting violent and retail crime. Since the operation began on June 10, the Department has seen the following results:

  • 32 felony warrants cleared
  • 15 misdemeanor warrants cleared
  • Over 20 arrests, including 15 felony arrests
  • 19 criminal trespass citations

During the operations, officers made referrals to the Albuquerque Community Safety Department and identified 13 bus stops for a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design evaluation, four of which have been completed. One of those evaluations resulted in one bus stop being removed.

“APD is committed to making our residents feel safe, whether it’s on the bus going to the mall, going to work, or going shopping,” said Deputy Chief Mike Smathers. “We know there is a lot of work to be done, but we are using all of the resources we have to target the folks who are committing crimes in this city.”

Because of the theft and burglaries seen in the area, APD has developed Operation Sticky Fingers. This is a weekly operation that puts officers in areas where retail crime is happening at peak times, in order to promptly address criminal activity and deter crime. Since beginning the operation in May, 45 arrests have been made and $15,000 worth of property has been recovered in the uptown area.

The New Mexico Organized Retail Crime Association (NMORCA) said, “NMORCA works every day in proud partnership with the men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department. We are grateful to APD for their leadership and for their proactive efforts to combat retail crime in our community. The many arrests, warrants and recoveries made by the Albuquerque Police Department in recent months are proof that APD takes the retail community’s concerns seriously. The relationship between retailers and law enforcement is vital to creating a safer, more prosperous New Mexico for the future, and APD plays a critical role in the mechanism for success.”