ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — There have been a string of burglaries around Albuquerque, all with the same method of entry: Thieves actually remove entire windows to enter businesses. A business owner said her three businesses had been burglarized in the past few months, two of which were due to the removal of a small window in the front.
Jessica Carothers owns the Blo Blowdry Bar and Waxing the City locations near Paseo Del Norte and San Pedro. Within weeks of each other, the windows of both stores were removed and items were stolen. Carothers says she’s not the only one this is happening to either.
“On the 4th of July, actually the 4th of July, we were robbed in Waxing the City and then the week after we were robbed here in Blo. Exact same methodology and we have the same people on camera for both, for both flights,” Carothers said. Carothers says it’s unclear why removing the window glass didn’t set off his alarm system: “We don’t understand why the alarm wasn’t set off. We’re just not sure and it seems like a mystery that no one has been able to figure out.
Less of a mystery in these cases: the lengths these thieves will go to gain access: “They’re using some kind of special tool that they actually left the tool here. So we know what the tool is,” says Carothers. The people who robbed his shop – captured by his surveillance system – stole thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and cash from each of his salons, every time.
“Which is interesting because there have been a number of saloons all over town that have been robbed and a number of those people are friends of mine: they took a ton of merchandise,” Carothers says.
The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) confirms, “Since early June, investigators have seen an increase in burglaries at salons and other shops such as nail salons.” However, they tell KRQE News 13 that their “impact unit has seen more incidents of windows being cut to enter businesses since last December. glass installation companies to do this.
“It looks like it’s the same – it’s two women and one man and I have pictures of my friends who own salons all over town that they’ve sent me saying, ‘that’s exactly the same thing that happened to us, and it even looks like the same two women and the man who are hitting all these businesses all over town,” Carothers says. She says it causes a lot of fear: “When I spoke with my friend at the police department there is currently a focus on violent crime in our city which of course I understand but unfortunately when property crime is allowed to happen like this over and over and again, it emboldens people. And a lot of violent criminals start out as property criminals… And that’s really scary as a business owner in Albuquerque, as you know, what’s the cost of doing business in our city? asks Carothers.
APD tells News 13 that they recently arrested Kellie Shugart, 40, who was trying to break into a dispensary with tools. They say investigators are actively investigating whether people like Shugart are linked to other burglaries in the city.
These aren’t the only cases in recent months that fit this same MO: On July 30, the Central New Mexico Community College library on the Montoya campus was broken into, with the glass removed.
The spate of burglaries at the Calibers Gun Shop earlier in the year also resulted in the burglar removing the window glass to gain entry and fleeing with thousands of dollars worth of stolen guns.