ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Someone stole a television news station’s SUV in Downtown Albuquerque while the crew was gathering footage for a story about crime in the area.
Michelle Donaldson, KOB news director, said the crew watched as the vehicle was stolen near First and Central.
The crew was in the area reporting on recent concerns about crime and safety by the local business Lavu when they became part of the story.
“I have a rule, that you can never be the lead of your own newscast,” Donaldson said. “So this violates that rule.”
KOB recovered the vehicle within a half hour without police assistance by following the GPS tracking device that was on board, she said.
“We went to that location and recovered our own stolen vehicle,” Donaldson said.
She said the thief was no longer with the SUV and it had already been damaged. The SUV was locked and the keys were not left inside. Donaldson said she is not sure how the thief started the SUV.
“I’m relieved that our people are OK and I’m relieved that we’ve recovered our property, but I’m very angry that somebody can walk up to a parked, locked, vehicle in front of you in this city and drive it away,” she said. “It’s a helpless feeling to know you can’t do anything about it.”
Lavu recently wrote a letter to the city expressing concerns about safety in the area for their employees and detailing recent incidents that involve alleged thefts and muggings.
“We were doing a story about those concerns, and the city’s response to those concerns when, ironically, we became victims of crime ourselves in exactly the area they’re talking about,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson said even though they have done many stories on Albuquerque crime, especially this year, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.
“When it happens to you it’s personal, no question about it,” she said. “We spend our days telling other people’s stories, now it’s our story.”