Men charged with instrument theft looked like students

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    Two men charged with more than $100,000 worth of theft on campus were able to steal from the university because they looked like college students, a TCU police officer said.

    TCU Police Sgt. Kelly Ham said the thefts were spread out and unnoticed because the men who were charged did not look suspicious on campus.

    “They look just like students, so they fit in,” Ham said.

    Azim Ansari, 21, and Umair Khan, 24, were both charged with Theft $20,000-$100,000. According to the police report, 14 Apple iMac computer monitors and 26 musical instruments were stolen.

    Ham said the crime spree, which took place over a six-month period, was rare to campus. He said it was unusual for suspects to keep coming back and stealing from the same place.

    The men were charged with committing 14 different thefts from December 2009 to June 2010, Ham said. The breakthrough on the case came when Detective Vicki Lawson was able to track some instruments stolen from the band storage unit through Craigslist.

    Ham said that the more than 8,500 undergraduates on campus with full access to academic buildings made it difficult to survey for crime on campus.

    “We have always walked a tightrope between security and [building] access to students,” Ham said.

    Ham said that other than instruments, computers stolen were from faculty offices. Although the thefts did not include student property, students could still help prevent those kinds of crimes, he said.

    He said that if students saw anything being carried out of buildings, like a computer, they should call TCU Police so they can investigate it.