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4 NM police substations vandalized in wake of protest

The act of vandalism comes after hundreds of people protested the Albuquerque Police Department on downtown streets for hours

By Ryan Boetel
Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four Albuquerque Police Department substations across the city were vandalized with paint Monday night.

The substations at Central and Rio Grande by Old Town, Central and Girard near the University of New Mexico, Montgomery and Tramway in the foothills and one on South Broadway were all painted overnight, according to an APD news release.

Red paint covered the walls, entrances and signs at the substations.

City employees who are part of the Clean City Division started to clean up the paint at 7 a.m., said Bobby Sisneros, the marketing manager for the city's Solid Waste Management Department, which includes the Clean City workers.

Police became aware of the vandalism early Tuesday morning when people, including officers, noticed the damage, said Tasia Martinez, an Albuquerque police spokeswoman.

The affected substations are not the department's main command substations, and they are open only during the day. There was little or no traffic around the substations overnight, and no officers were there, Martinez said.

"The vandals probably chose these locations to vandalize city property because they knew there was very little chance that there would be activity at these locations during those hours," Martinez said. "It appeared to be a very premeditated and senseless destruction of city property."

If caught, Martinez said, the vandals could face felony charges of criminal damage to property.

Police didn't say whether any affected substations had security cameras outside that recorded the vandalism.

Sisneros said the substation at Central and Girard was also painted the night of March 30.

Sisneros said he couldn't estimate the cost to the city for cleaning up the paint. He said the city spends about $1.5 million a year to clean up graffiti.

Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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