Police: thefts at UNM housing could be inside job

unm housing, krqe.com

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Thieves have targeted a University of New Mexico apartment complex. So far, they’ve swiped nearly $30,000 worth of jewelry and people suspect it’s an inside job.

That’s because the community is gated and to get in a person has to have a special issued key or code.

“What comes to mind is that who can do this?” said resident Gauhar Sabih.

A lot of people who live at UNM’s Student Family Housing complex, which caters toward married students with kids, are wondering the same thing.

“I thought we were completely safe you know in a gated community and on campus,” said Clarissa Westphal. “It’s definitely shocking and a bit worrying.”

In the last two months, thieves have hit the complex nine times.

“The same things are stolen jewelry, cash that’s laying around things like that,” said UNM Police Lieutenant Tim Stump.

In every case, residents said there was no sign of forced entry.

“There is somebody who has access to our apartments. That’s the only thing because there is no lock broken, there is no broken door,” said Sabih.

Sabih’s wife’s more than $8,000 wedding set was stolen. The gold jewelry was passed down from her grandmother.

“The emotional value is even more because you can understand it is a wedding set, so it has a lot of memories,” he said.

UNM police say the thefts are connected. As to how the criminals are getting inside undetected, police won’t say.

News 13 asked police if it is an inside job. Detectives said they are not ruling it out.

According to police reports, two separate residents said they found maintenance crews inside their apartments without their permission around the times of the burglaries.

“That’s even more worrying,” said Westphal. “I mean they have access to everything.”

“These things should not happen.” said Sabih.

UNM police said it does have some leads, but police and student housing would not say if they’re looking into employees at the apartment complex.

They’re working on getting new keys for each unit as well installing an electronic key tracking system.

In the meantime, all staff and contractors will have escorts when entering the apartments and will use individually issued keys.

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