An armed robbery near an Albuquerque apartment complex brought the residents together looking for ways to prevent future crime in their area.
The meeting was held at Uptown Village, a gated housing complex near the ABQ Uptown shopping district.
Crime Prevention Specialist Sharanne Press of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) met with about a dozen residents. Press handles crime prevention for the APD’s Northeast Area Command.
“I come out and teach safety and let you know what [APD] is seeing crime wise,” Press said.
Press describes her job as preserving the peace and protecting the community by organizing crime reports and informing citizens on safety.
The robbery incident is still under investigation. Apparently it involved an unidentified suspect holding one of the apartment residents at gunpoint, then stealing the resident’s truck.
Uptown Village staff say crime is rare at the complex and this robbery came as a surprise to them. Manager Christy Russell said this is the first robbery in almost a year.
“We work very hard to keep our apartments safe,” Russell said. “We want to keep in contact with all the residents so if they feel unsafe, we can fix that.”
According to Crime Mapping, the biggest crimes in the uptown Albuquerque area are vehicle break-ins and larceny, making up over half of all crimes in the city.
Press says Albuquerque citizens should not interact with anyone engaging in a crime, but to give the best possible descriptions. The Northeast Area Command keeps track of witness-provided details like clothes, tattoos, and scars and tracks those details to catch the suspect. Press said the most common description used to catch criminals are shoes.
“We catch a lot of suspects based on the shoes they are wearing,” Press said. “They don’t usually change their shoes out, so it’s surprisingly a great description detail.”
Uptown Village resident John Russell says he will take extra precautions to prevent getting robbed or attacked.
“I keep no form of identification in my vehicle,” Russell said. “Anyone that breaks into my car will know where I live, and I hate knowing that. You have to be careful at all times.”
Since the robbery, the Uptown Village changed their gate and pool locks and shortened the gate entry time for residents entering or leaving.
Press said she hopes crime in Albuquerque will diminish if people are vigilant. She says if someone sees something suspicious, call APD and report it.
“Even if it’s a false alarm, it’s good to report it anyway,” Press said. “It means you’re paying attention.”
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