ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Two more murders were reported in Albuquerque early Tuesday morning. One in a motel.
Mayor Tim Keller and the police chief said crime in local motels is becoming a worrying trend. “We obviously had two murders this morning and our team is working on them,” said Mayor Keller.
At a press conference, the mayor and police chief said they are working on plans to curb violent crime in the city, but add that they see a pattern. “Most of the murders in Albuquerque are very specific,” said the mayor. “They’re drug-tied, guns and motels, and they happen from midnight to five in the morning, and they usually affect men between the ages of 25 and 35.”
On Tuesday, APD responded to two murders. One was at Motel 6 on I-25 and Avenida Cesar Chavez.
KRQE News 13 wanted to take a closer look at the frequency of first responders being called to a handful of subway hotels and motels. Therefore, News 13 has requested the call sheets from 2019 to now for five locations outside the Hotel Circle near Eubank and I-40. An area that some say has gotten a bad rap. “There are a lot of homeless people, there is a lot of crime,” said Rebecca Whitlock. “It’s mostly small stuff, there are a lot of petty thefts.”
The Albuquerque Fire Department alone responded to 406 calls to these hotels. About half of the calls went to the seal suites. Emergency calls to the police are much higher. APD had 2,554 calls to the same five hotels over the past three years. About half of their calls also went to the Siegel suites. “It’s a little bit sad, it’s a little bit scary, but it’s not surprising,” said Whitlock. “This side of the city is just rough.”
Many of the calls are related to malfunctions, social checks, and suspicious individuals. But even in the case of violent crimes, the call sheets show officials at the crime scene. “I don’t know of a single hotel in town that rents to someone who is going to commit murder. That’s not a question to ask when registering, ”said Premier Hospitality CEO Imesh Vaidya.
He said the hotels he knows are taking all proper security measures to ensure they are collecting credit card and car information from their guests and have security cameras in place. But Vaidya believes this problem runs much deeper than where the crimes happened. “Albuquerque crime is a social problem, not a hotel problem,” said Vaidya. “We can close every hotel in town and the crime rate will stay the same.”
Mayor Keller said there wasn’t a single answer to make all violent crimes go away, but they are working with local and state authorities to find ways to contain them. APD chief Harold Medina added that they had predicted that we would beat the record of murders in the city this year just by looking at national crime, which is also rising sharply.