Officers announce partnership to combat retail crime in Albuquerque

WATCH: full press conference released

by: KRQE employees

Posted: Jul 6, 2021 / 10:19 AM MDTUpdated: 07/06/2021 / 14:19 MDT

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque and the Attorney General of New Mexico partnered to fight “Organized Retail Crime.” City and state officials called it a “profitable industry” and a major source of income for drug crime, human trafficking and theft and outlined the problem during a news conference Tuesday.

Flanked by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Harold Medina, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said his office will work with Albuquerque Police and local retailers to identify and prosecute the “worst of the worst” retail criminals . Balderas also said the partnership will focus on improving communications with frontline officers and large corporations to “build cases.”

“We have seen an increase in violence against families and consumers in New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque,” said Balderas. “This is not about shoplifting, not about juvenile delinquency, this is a very profitable industry that encourages and fuels other criminal activities such as human trafficking and gang activities.”

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Balderas also urged state lawmakers to “stop killing important vital laws” that had been in place for “many years”. The attorney general mentioned the Organized Criminal Retail Act, a law that would increase penalties in this regard.

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