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Fmr. Employee Burglarizes NW Omaha Apartments

Fmr. Employee Burglarizes NW Omaha Apartments

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Feb 13, 2013

A former employee at a northwest Omaha apartment complex is behind bars.  The man was using his master key to steal thousands of dollars worth of stuff.  Joseph Pardew worked as a maintenance man at the Richland Park & Briar Park Apartments.  Authorities believe his access to garage and apartment keys are what led to multiple burglaries.

Janice Hinze says she didn't even know she was a burglary victim because there were no signs.  Last month, she opened a jewelry box similar to this and realized her jewelry and cash were gone.

"You assume when you move in some place that they're going to be trustworthy and that it's safe and so it surprises you when that kind of thing happens," Hinze explained.

Police arrested Joseph Pardew for burglary and receiving stolen property.  On at least 5 occasions, authorities believe Pardew used master keys to steal thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, cash, and personal info from apartments at Briar Park Apartments at 114th & Corby Plz., and Richland Park Apartments at 116th & Burt St.  He also allegedly stole a car, and refrigerators from garages.  Others, who are not listed in a search warrant, say they were hit too.

"It's just too many apartments being broken into and no forced entry in all of them, so that had to say somebody had a key to do it," said Melanie Frazier, a burglary victim.

The search warrant indicates Pardew had access to garage and apartment keys, and may have told a relative to clean out his place of the stolen goods.  Police seized jewelry, car and house keys, and credit cards.

"It's hard to leave your home when you live in an apartment it's not a house, but it's still your home.  And it feels really bad to know somebody can come into your little space and do what they want," Frazier described.

Pardew is still being held at the Douglas County Jail on $25,000 bond.  KMTV Action 3 News tried to contact apartment management, but was unsuccessful.