APD cracking down on property crimes

Posted at: 05/01/2014 6:18 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Good news for homeowners – bad news for burglars. The Albuquerque Police Department has a new commander for its property crimes unit, and a stepped-up campaign to crack down hard on residential burglaries.

Harold Medina served as a lieutenant in property crimes – now he’s back as commander of the unit. Medina took charge last week and already his team has rounded up some of the city’s most active burglars. Kyle Avery could be the poster-boy, with more than 20 burglary arrests, the most recent last Friday.

Medina said he and his detectives must look for ways to stop the “revolving door” that lets arrested burglars out on the streets, sometimes within hours. He said most burglars are stealing to feed drug addictions, and police must do more to steer them into programs that can help them kick their habits.

Commander Medina warns that burglars most frequently strike between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. When people are at work, they’re casing the neighborhood, looking for houses to hit. Medina said they will usually check to see if someone is at home – and if you are home, don’t pretend you’re not.

“When somebody knocks on your door and you don’t know who they are, make sure they’re aware that you are inside the house,” Medina said. “Let them know, hey, I’m home – I’m not interested – please go away. A lot of times these offenders will leave that home.”

Medina said that can avert a confrontation and a possible home invasion. Then there’s that suspicious looking guy snooping around the neighbor’s house.

“An individual jumping into a backyard with a backpack is a sure giveaway that that’s probably a burglar jumping in the backyard,” Medina said. “A lot of times citizens don’t call that in because they don’t see them actually breaking in.”

Medina said police need to check out those situations whether somebody is breaking in or not, so he urges neighbors to call 911.