Residents of Lobo Village concerned with thefts

Posted at: 04/09/2013 10:19 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A brazen thief has some Lobo Village residents on edge. They worry a recent change at the large student-living complex has given criminals an opening to strike.

There are two security gates for vehicles entering Lobo Village. But even late at night, you can see an opening in this gated community.

What used to be a quick ride has turned into a soggy walk for Austin Long. He’s had to walk, catch a ride with friends or use UNM’s Shuttle since a thief rode off on his only mode of transportation almost four weeks ago.

"It was my sanctuary. Whenever I'd have a rough day it would just make me happy being on two wheels," said Long.

His 2011 ZX6R motorcycle was secured with a steering wheel lock in the parking lot of Lobo Village where he lives, until a thief struck on the morning of April 13.

"He [broke the lock and] drove out of here, zoomed right by out the pedestrian gate," he said.

Long claims Lobo Village made it easy for the thief to get away by taking a pedestrian gate off.

"The security patrol gets off at 4 in the morning and this happened at 7:30 in the morning," said Long.

A groundskeeper told UNM police “the pedestrian gate had been taken off the previous day so the driver drove through the opening without having to open the exit gate.”

Well, that pedestrian gate is still off and the same thing almost happened to another resident on Monday.

"What they did with my bike is, they turned it on and tried to ride away," said Jason Fleming. Fleming’s Suzuki GSXR motorcycle is a little busted up but wasn’t stolen thanks to a sturdy front tire lock.

Both students fear security is being scaled back at Lobo Village and others could be at risk.

Lobo Village refused to comment.

"[Lobo Village is] not really doing a whole lot about it and the cameras that they have are there to protect their own assets they're not there to protect any of our property," said Fleming.

The theft has left Austin Long not only without transportation, but he’s also out of a job because he can’t get to it.

Long says Lobo Village told him they took the gate off because it wasn’t handicap accessible.

Because Lobo Village declined to comment, it’s not known when or if they plan on securing the gate once again.