AG Balderas Announces Pretrial Detention of Serial Organized Retail Criminal Who Enlisted the Help of Her 15-Year-Old Daughter

For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372

ALBUQUERQUE — Today, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that at a pretrial detention hearing on Monday afternoon, Judge Cindy Leos granted the State’s pretrial detention motion on Lovelea Degeer. Judge Leos determined Degeer will be held pending trial and found that Degeer showed “terrible judgment” through her pattern of conduct, which includes Degeer’s current criminal charges and the allegation that she stored a gun under the bed of her 12-year-old son. Judge Leos concluded that no release conditions could be fashioned that would protect the community.

“Organized retail criminals are putting New Mexicans in danger and harming consumers and businesses in the millions of dollars in losses, and I appreciate that Judge Leos is swift in protecting New Mexico families,” said Attorney General Balderas.

Beginning in December 2021, Degeer brazenly shoplifted nearly $6,000 in potted plants from multiple Albertsons stores in the Albuquerque metro area. She brought her 15-year-old daughter with her in about a half dozen of those incidents. Law enforcement has identified about 20 incidents involving Degeer. She now faces over 30 criminal counts and over 25 years imprisonment.

The cases were investigated as part of the NM Office of the Attorney General’s (NMOAG) emerging ORC Task Force and the NMOAG Human Trafficking Task Force. The investigation involved the NMOAG, Albuquerque Police Department, and asset protection personnel from the retail community. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Ashley Schweizer and Jonathan Gardner. Degeer is presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.