ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Businesses around Albuquerque have been struggling lately. They deal with a variety of crime issues, which include things like trespassing and vandalism.
“It’s like, is it even worth being in business anymore?”
Ed Wolfe, owner of Culligan Bottled Water, is at his wits end. His company, near San Mateo and Lomas, is dealing with problem after problem, like finding bullet holes in his work vehicles and weekly truck vandalism.
“We just left it there because every time we went to paint it, it was like a big white billboard for somebody else to come out there and say, ‘hey, you know what? I’m going to practice my tagging art.’”
Light bulbs have been stolen from fixtures, security cameras have been ripped out and even city-issued “No Trespassing” signs have been removed from walls.
“Anything you put outside the building, you might as well say it’s going to be gone within the next 24-48 hours.”
The latest problem happened last Thursday, the company broke. Wolfe claimed someone broke down the front door, walking away with just $8 in change but leaving more than $13,000 in damage. It’s something that many Albuquerque businesses are very familiar with.
“We are all dealing with the same thing. The level of frustration is high.”
Wolfe blames the homeless, who have set up camp outside his back door, leaving their trash and feces behind. He has reported problems to 311 six times since the beginning of the year. He said there has been no response from the city. As his frustration grows, Wolfe said the problems won’t stop him from doing business.
“I feel for my clients, they are part of my family. I don’t want to let my family down, so I’ll do everything I can to take care of the situation.”