Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca, and Randy Sanchez, general manager of Coronado Mall, spoke about the collaboration to combat retail crime at Coronado Mall.
The Albuquerque Police Department once resided in the space for years, but in the last couple of months its lease was not renewed. Like many substations in the metro, it was not an open office for the public to seek help. Gonzales said it was used for retail theft operations as far back as June when one operation resulted in more 100 arrests.
“There was over a 90% reduction in retail crime here at the center, and, of those over 100 people that were arrested, 100% of the property was recovered,” Gonzales explained.
BCSO said it does not plan to station officers at the site, but use it just for operations, as APD did, in addition to promotional recruitment purposes.
Although there won’t be deputies stationed there any time soon, BCSO said there was a 90% decrease in retail crime following previous operations they’ve held there in the past.
Gonzales said he hopes to open more of these satellite substations in other locations around the city. APD explained Coronado wanted the organized crime unit to work entirely from the mall, but that the concept was just not practical. They’re now working with the attorney general’s office for a citywide crackdown initiative on retail crime.
The Coronado Center in the Uptown shopping area receives more than 13 million visitors per year. There are 157 retail and food stores at Coronado with four more in the works.