AG Balderas Announces Serial Shoplifter to Remain in Jail, Vows to Target Aggressive Organized Retail Criminals

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372

ALBUQUERQUE, NM— Attorney General Hector Balderas announces serial shoplifter, Athena Padilla, will remain in jail as her criminal cases move forward. Today, Metropolitan Court Judge Christine Rodriguez found that Athena Padilla had willfully violated her conditions of release and no conditions of release would ensure her compliance, and revoked her conditions of release. The Attorney General’s Office is now prosecuting Athena Padilla in two cases with twenty-one counts.

“We will continue to expand our efforts and ensure repeat felony offenders are kept behind bars,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “Organized retail crime is a growing problem in New Mexico that continues to traumatize our communities.”

On August 25, 2021, Athena Padilla shoplifted over $2,100 worth of merchandise from Dick’s Sporting Goods. She was released on her own recognizance with conditions of release, and less than a week later she was shoplifting again; from September to December she participated in 10 shoplifting incidents, often with accomplices, which resulted in a total loss of over $19,000 to Albuquerque businesses.

This case was investigated and prosecuted as part of the emerging Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Task Force. The investigation involved the NM Office of the Attorney General and asset protection personnel from the retail community, and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Gardner.