Prank targets tires at UNM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It was more of a trick than a treat. Police say pranksters hit dozens of University of New Mexico vehicles over Halloween night.

They say this prank took a lot to pull off, and will take a lot of effort to fix.

“We have never experienced anything like this before,” Lt. Tim Stump said.

It’s one of those oddball crimes that required quite a bit of time.

“We believe it was a prank of some sort because it was Halloween night,” Stump said, adding it’s more annoying than anything else that 108 vehicle tires were affected. “They located 57 vehicles that had all the air let out of the tires. I was trying to think how tedious it had to have been.”

They were all university cars and trucks, the ones you see running around campus throughout the day.

Police say none of the tires were actually slashed or ruined, they simply – or not so simply – had the air removed using the valve stem. Stump says a majority of the vehicles were at the service center just north of the main campus. A few vehicles on the main campus were targeted, too.

Getting inside the service center after hours, and past the gates, is no easy task.

“Someone could’ve hopped the fence. We don’t know how they got into the lot, but it is a very secure lot,” Stump said.

It’s likely that more than one person is behind the stunt, according to Stump. Police are now checking campus cameras to see if they caught anyone in the act. Stump says that while it didn’t affect any campus business, it very well could have.

“Anything could happen on campus where there’s an emergency, a broken water pipe, a power outage, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Stump said. “(Employees) need to get to work and they need to do the things they need to do.”

Many of those cars and trucks were back in service as of Monday. They just needed to have their tires re-inflated. Stump says this kind of crime is considered a misdemeanor.

Anyone with information is asked to call UNM Police at 505-277-2241.

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