APD arrests man in connection to Nob Hill burglaries

Created: 12/20/2013 7:19 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque police believe they have the man who is largely responsible for the burglaries of more than a dozen Nob Hill businesses.

According to a criminal complaint, officers booked 32-year-old James Appelman early Thursday morning. 

A detective said Appelman burglarized a salon near ABQ Uptown and stole an iPad without realizing the salon owner could track the iPad’s movement in real-time.

Over the course of several minutes, the salon owner gave officers real-time directions over the phone based on the iPad’s location.  Eventually, they pinpointed the device to a stolen Ford Escape that Appelman was driving.  They said he first sped away from them then ran on foot.

The detective said that officers recovered numerous stolen items in the SUV including items that appear to belong to businesses in the Nob Hill area.

“Somewhat relief,” Alisa Turtletaub, owner of Nosh deli said.  Her business was burglarized last weekend – the second time in three months.

On Sunday, she showed KOB Eyewitness News 4 how burglars ransacked the restaurant.  Turtletaub said they stole a few iPads and some cash.

Nosh opened in late August.

“You try and get a momentum going and then this happens,” Turtletaub said.

According to Steve Paternoster, the owner of Scalo restaurant, he interviewed Appelman for a job a year ago.  Just like Nosh, Scalo was burglarized in recent weeks as well.

Paternoster said he did not hire Appelman because the man did not appear to be a good fit for the restaurant.

Although police feel confident that Appelman is largely responsible for the burglaries, they said Appelman stopped talking after officers took him to police headquarters.

"When detectives questioned him about the stolen property in his car, he would not give any answers and did not want to say anything at all,” Officer Simon Drobik said.

Drobik said Appelman lives less than a block from the Nob Hill businesses along Central Avenue and stole a bait car from Albuquerque police less than six months ago.

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