The University of New Mexico's main campus, located directly north of Central Avenue, experiences an extremely high crime rate – five times the national average, according to a 2018 crime index. This high level of crime impacts the community around Central Avenue and the University, including businesses along Central.
Local business owner Gina Yates of Harvard Drive's Frock Star Vintage said businesses on Central have a designated phone number to call in case there is a security emergency.
Yates said she mostly deals with petty theft, with the majority of stolen items coming from the racks that she has outside of her shop.
"The racks outside really help to bring people in. I notice on days when I can’t put them out for a weather reason, I get less people coming in because it's more inviting when (the rack is) out there," Yates told the Daily Lobo. "When you have a business, you take that risk. I never put anything out there that’s super valuable; I put things out that are clearance items outside."
Yates also has a security camera outside of her building to catch theft on video. She was unable to provide the Daily Lobo a hard copy of the footage or other data showing the theft took place.
The New Mexico Community Data Collaborative (NMCDC) crime index reveals that crime in the area of Frock Star Vintage is 5.3% higher than the national average.
Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes spoke on the matter in an interview with the Daily Lobo and said they have a lot of homeless people coming in and attempting to stay at the store for long periods of time.
"The holidays are coming up, which means businesses are seeing a lot more people come into their stores," an employee from Off Broadway Vintage said.
In the area of Buffalo Exchange and Walgreens, the crime index shows that crime is 3.5% higher than the national average. Crimes overall in the Nob Hill area are about 4% higher than the U.S. average. According to this same data set, a high number of these crimes are related to theft and assault.
The 2018 crime index from NMCDC can be viewed by census tract or block group. Examining statistics by block group, the data shows that some of the areas on UNM campus experience a higher percentage of crime.
At the duck pond, rape is the most common crime reported. At Johnson Field, rape is even more common than near the duck pond.
Ellie Aikman is a freelance reporter and photographer at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @eaikman1230