ALBUQUERQUE, NM – While Albuquerque firefighters are out helping people, new documents obtained show criminals are helping themselves at fire stations.
The problems tend to take place when firefighters are out answering emergency calls, but not always like at Station 3 on Girard near Central.
In late June, firefighters called police, reporting someone had broken into their station while they were sleeping and made off with some electronics. Then in July, firefighters at Station 3 again called officers when someone went into the station bay, where the trucks are kept, and ransacked a rescue unit. The crook took some non-narcotic medicines.
Over at Stations 9 and 17, cars have been broken into that were parked in station lots. The vehicles were damaged and personal items were taken. In one case, a firefighter’s insurance and registration with his home address were taken. That prompted APD to send periodic patrols by his house to check on it.
“The safety of our members is our priority,” Justin Cheney said, the VP of the City Chapter of the Local 244 Albuquerque area firefighter’s union.
“We are aware of the crimes that have been happening and we are willing to put our resources together with the fire administration, the mayor’s office, as well as city council,” he said.
Most recently, at Station 9 on Menaul, union members installed cameras on a bookstore across the street to help them keep an eye on things.
The cameras also helped the bookstore owner, who was also having issues with crime in the neighborhood.
AFD Chief David Downey released a statement to KRQE News 13 on the crimes:
It’s unfortunate that while firefighters and paramedics are responding to emergency calls for service that they fall victim to theft. In order to protect our firefighter and paramedic’s belongings we have installed security gates at most of our fire station parking lots.”
We hope that people recognize the sacrifice that these individuals make to protect our community instead of choosing to steal from them.”
Firefighters who couldn’t go on-camera said there’s been even more crimes, particularly car break-ins, that weren’t even reported to police.