UNM professor's camera captures thief breaking into his office | KOB 4

UNM professor's camera captures thief breaking into his office

Tommy Lopez
Updated: September 24, 2020 10:09 PM
Created: September 24, 2020 09:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A UNM professor, who studies bats, observed abnormal nighttime activity in his office. 

Dr. Ernie Valdez, wildlife biologist and adjunct UNM professor, saw his life change during the pandemic. Researchers in the U.S. are no longer allowed to handle bats after China reported that bats could have started the spread of COVID-19.


He's been working from home. But he set up an infrared camera in his office that would typically be used to study bats or other wildlife in their natural habitat. He figured he would test how well the camera worked.

To his surprise, he captured something unexpected, an intruder.

Valdez believes the man broke a window in the UNM biology building and entered his office, somehow getting through his locked office door. 

"We're trying to be safe and telework and then there are people that just take advantage of that," Valdez said.

The man tried to steal the expensive technology, but it was locked up.

He ended up getting away with a battery charger.

"We did, relatively speaking, come out of this unscathed," Valdez said.

The thief caused a $1,000 dollars worth of damage. He was featured by Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers. Police believe the man also broke into Johnson Gym and raided a vending machine. 

Anyone with information about the thief is asked to contact Crime Stoppers (505) 843-STOP or submit anonymous tips at P3tips.com/531.

Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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