ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque business said crime around its property is putting the shop in danger. The owner of an auto repair shop on Central said people are setting fires around her business. Last week, she said a fire even forced her to close up for the day.
“In the past two years, it has drastically increased, and it is out of control in my opinion,” said Patti Garcia, owner of Duke City AutoBody and Pro Biz Notary.
Increasing crime is making one business owner scared for her shop. Patti Garcia owns Duke City Autobody near Central and Tennessee. It’s been open for 12 years, but within the last two weeks, she said things have gotten worse with people setting multiple fires close to her shop.
“We had four that were reported in a matter of two days. My biggest concern is our building burning down,” said Garcia.
Garcia said she understands people start the fires to stay warm during the winter months, but they’re endangering her business. Garcia said one fire happened behind her shop last week when someone sleeping in a van set it on fire. It spread and took out an electrical pole that impacted her business and forced them to close for a day while it got fixed.
“We are very concerned,” she said, “We don’t know if we’re going to have a business to come to or when we’re going to get the call.”
Garcia explained she’s reached out to city officials and law enforcement for help, but nothing seems to be resolved. The business has also dealt with multiple break-ins and homeless setting up tents in front of their shop scaring customers away.
“I feel ghosted. I feel as if I’m in this all alone, and it makes me, it’s very concerning. It makes me wonder where our city officials are.”
Garcia said she’s considered moving, but it’s simply too expensive. For now, she’s taking it day by day doing what she can to protect her business.
“We’re not out here to cause trouble or to complain. We’re just here to try to ban together to find a resolution.”