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APS report lists missing, stolen property

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Air pump rifles, book fair money and classroom technology.

These are among the items catalogued in the 2018-19 Albuquerque Public Schools stolen or missing items report.

The review, which uses APS school police reports, shows a total of $99,185 in property was reported as stolen or missing last school year.

A draft of the report was presented to the Board of Education in late July.

Items that made the list range from $10 missing from Corrales Elementary

Items that made the list range from $10 missing from Corrales Elementary School to $2,500 worth of candy, food and drinks gone from Albuquerque High School.

An entry of $8,108 in APS police payroll fraud was the priciest entry in the report.

Ben Lubkeman, executive director of accounting, told the Journal that a police officer was overpaid for over a year.

“That, unfortunately, was not caught in human resources for about 18 months,” Lubkeman said.

He said when the employee started working with APS, they were logged as a full-year employee versus a school-year employee, which is a difference of about 72 days, and they were paid too much.

He added that the district is working with the individual to recoup the money, but it was still recorded.

Nine air pump rifles from Albuquerque High School’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program were also stolen, according to the report.

Lubkeman said the air pump rifles, which cost $100 each, were taken out of a JROTC trailer parked at the school. He emphasized they were air pump rifles, which don’t shoot bullets.

Albuquerque High had 13 pieces of stolen or missing property, including $1,000 in scoreboard equipment, the log shows.

Rio Grande High School had 14 entries, with the majority flagged on May 20. The document shows a bulk of clothing was reported missing that day: 25 black shirts, 14 black hats, 27 red hats, nine gray hats, 19 white hats, 18 volleyball shirts, 13 basketball shirts. A popcorn maker, snow cone machine and slow cooker were also missing from the school.

Twenty computers at Van Buren Middle School, each of which cost $1,000, were recorded, too.

Two schools also reported missing book fair funds – $200 from La Luz Elementary School and $215 from George I. Sanchez.

The $99,185 district-wide total for 2018-19 is down compared with previous years.

In 2017-18, $116,214 in property theft was recorded and the year before that, $202,199 was logged.

Lubkeman said that’s because more people are being vigilant about theft and locking up items when they can.

“Better internal controls we’ve been working on over the years are finally coming to fruition,” he said. “People are more aware of theft and the processes in place to deter theft.”

A report of stolen district cash and property is sent to the Office of the State Auditor annually.

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