By John Cardinale
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — Ashley Roybal and Marvin Alderete have caught the attention of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Retail Crime Task Force.
“They were on our radar since November of last year. Our task force has really focused on the worst, most violent offenders,” Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s Attorney General, said.
According to their arrest warrant, the pair has stolen $20,000 in merchandise from multiple stores in our region, mostly Walmarts.
But what is concerning to Balderas is the behavior of the couple.
“They’re not just stealing. When they are getting confronted by their employees or they are near customers, they are brandishing weapons, knives and really showing a propensity for dangerous conduct,” said Balderas.
In one instance, the warrant for Alderete states, when confronted at a Walmart he pointed the gun at a security guard and asked him, “Are you willing to die.”
Balderas said retail crime is becoming big across New Mexico and he is calling for action.
“It is a shame that New Mexico, in terms of retail shopping centers, has among the most violent shopping centers in the nation. And that really has to alarm lawmakers,” Balderas said.
During the last legislative session, Republican State Representative Bill Rehm called for a retail crime bill.
“Criminals know that if they steal under $500, it’s a misdemeanor. And so there’s not going to be any action taken against them. So they go to one store, they steal under 500, they go to the next store, do the same thing and then they collect all these items and then start selling them,” Rehm said.
But the bill didn’t pass.
Balderas said his retail crime task force will continue to crack down on violent retail offenders.
“I’m concerned that they’re turning parking lots and grocery stores into crime scenes, and I’m concerned that New Mexico’s a little bit behind the curve,” Balderas said.
Marvin Alderete is being charged with 31 counts and is facing 41 and a half years in prison if convicted.
Roybal is facing 12 counts and a possibility of 17 years in prison.
If you see either of them, you should call law enforcement immediately.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association estimated nearly $1 billion in losses in the state of new Mexico in 2021.
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