Albuquerque police warn of increase in burglaries, gun thefts (VIDEO)

Authorities in Albuquerque say for the last three months, burglaries and other property crimes have steadily increased, and along with those, gun thefts. And while police say the trend is troubling, even more disturbing is the fact that more criminals appear to be arming themselves as well.

In the Foothills area, 34 firearms were reported stolen over the last four months, while burglaries, robberies and auto thefts went from 808 in February, to 839 in March and 868 in April. According to APD Officer Tanner Tixier the trend extends throughout the entire city and is not just limited to the Foothills.

Tixier asks gun owners to be responsible in order to help keep those guns out of the hands of criminals. He said one of the biggest problems is people leaving valuables – including guns – in their vehicles.

Additionally, Tixier said, “We’re seeing more and more property crime offenders, the nonviolent property crime offenders arming themselves with guns in order to further their crime sprees.”

He used the example of a man who was arrested last week for impersonating a police officer. The man, who has never been a violent offender in the past, has taken to carrying a gun, while pretending to be a police officer to gain entry into the homes he targets for burglaries.

The officer said he can’t explain the recent trend, but noted it’s a “tragedy waiting to happen,” also making reference to the fact that an increasing number of area residents are arming themselves as well.

[ KRQE ]