APS says a theft ring is behind spike in stolen computers

Posted at: 07/29/2014 6:27 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A theft ring targeting schools around Albuquerque stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in computers, according to a criminal complaint.

Albuquerque Public Schools said that was one of the reasons why the amount of property theft spiked last year. Two stolen vehicles also added to the $355,272 total for the 2013-2014 school year. That’s compared to about $280,000 for the 2012-2013 school year.

“That's a lot of stuff. My first thought is where's it going,” said parent Tara Sorensen. “Why is it allowed to just walk out the door so easily? A computer isn't something you can just slip in your backpack.”

Police said Antonio Pargas was part of a theft ring that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of computers from APS schools last year. He's accused of then selling the computers online.

Crooks also made off with a $5,000 pressure washer, a $2,000 food warmer and $600worth of trees.

“I think that they should be more careful and have more security around the schools so they don't steal so easy,” said parent Mariana Spirca.

APS said it is increasing patrols around schools at night and training staff to better secure items to prevent future thefts.