Thief steals monitors used for blind students at UNM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)- For disabled students at the University of New Mexico, the Accessibility Resource Center is a huge help. But, early Saturday morning a thief was busy helping himself to monitors used for visually impaired students.

“It’s horrible,” said the IT manager for Student Affairs, Robert Christner.  “Whatever a student needs to be granted equal access to education, we provide that to them.”

Staff at the center are shocked someone could do this.

He said staff at the resource center help disabled students with tasks like taking tests, and because they assist so many students they have cameras everywhere monitoring those sessions.

Because the center is covered wall to wall in cameras, the thief couldn’t hide, as he ran from room to room with a cigarette in his mouth.

“He thought he’d be clever and steal the camera over there, but I have three other cameras that were recording him,” said Christner.

Surveillance video shows the suspect came in through a window on the second floor, but when he walked out of the room he came in through, it set of an alarm and the door locked behind him. He escaped through an emergency exit.

Christner said their building was also broken into the week the before, stealing a printer, keys and documents from filing cabinets. From looking at video surveillance they believe it’s the same suspect.

In addition to taking the monitors, he also stole a camera and broke another one. But, that’s not the main concern.

“Not only is that impacting a set of our students that really need the most help,” said Christner. And because of a budget crunch, he said, “we will not be able to replace that equipment.”

So, staff has stuck the suspects picture everywhere, even on the window he sneaked in through, in hopes, he’ll never come back again.

“You harm the weakest part of our society, we’re gonna get your picture out there,” said Christner.

UNM Police said when they responded to the alarm call, they located a man walking away from the building who they believe is the main suspect, as they attempted to cuff him, police said he ran away.

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