New Mexico Collision Center Impacted by Homelessness and Fires

Jan. 29, 2024
According to the business owner, her business has also dealt with multiple break-ins, homeless people setting up tents and starting fires.

The owner of a collision center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has reported that people are setting fires and pitching tents around her business, according to a KRQE News report.

“In the past two years, it has drastically increased, and it is out of control, in my opinion,” Patti Garcia, owner of Duke City AutoBody and Collision Center, told KRQE News.

According to Garcia, her business has also dealt with multiple break-ins and homeless people setting up tents in front of their shop, scaring customers away.

Garcia says people start the fires to stay warm during the winter months, but they’re endangering her business. She shared an incident from the week prior where a fire started by someone sleeping in a van spread and took out an electrical pole. This incident impacted her business and forced them to close for a day while it was fixed.

There were multiple fires that she has mentioned to reporters. “My biggest concern is our building burning down,” said Garcia. “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 said she reached out to city officials and law enforcement for help, but nothing seems to be resolved. As of January 26, Garica confirmed to FenderBender that she has still not heard back from the City of Albuquerque. 

Garcia has 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, according to KRQE.

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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