‘Frustration level is high’: Albuquerque business fed up with trespassers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Businesses around Albuquerque are struggling lately. They’re dealing with an assortment of crime issues which include things like trespassing and vandalism.

“It’s just like, is it worth it to be in business anymore?”

Ed Wolfe, the owner of Culligan Bottled Water, is at his wit’s end. His company, near San Mateo and Lomas, is dealing with problem after problem, like finding bullet holes in his work vehicles and weekly vandalism to the trucks.

“We just leave it on there because every time we went to paint over it, it was just like a big ol’ white billboard for somebody else to come out there and just say, ‘hey, you know what? I’m going to practice my tagging art.’”

Lightbulbs are stolen out of the fixtures, security cameras are ripped down, and even the city-issued “No Trespassing” signs have been taken off the walls.

“Anything you put outside of the building, you may as well just say that it’s going to be gone within the next 24-48 hours.”

The latest problem happened last Thursday, the company was broken into. Wolfe claimed someone smashed through the front door, getting away with only $8 in change but leaving more than $13,000 in damages. It’s something many Albuquerque businesses are all too familiar with.

“We’re all dealing with the same thing. The frustration level is high.”

Wolfe blames the homeless, who have set up camp right outside his back door, leaving their trash and feces behind. He’s reported the problems to 311 six times since the beginning of the year. He said there has been no response from the city. While his frustration grows, Wolfe said the problems aren’t going to stop him from doing business.

“I feel for my customers, they’re a part of my family. I don’t want to let my family down, so I’m going to do everything I can to take care of the situation.”

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