Maintenance Man Arrested for Stealing From Tenants

Meghan McRoberts

OMAHA (KPTM) - Police have arrested a man for stealing from tenants at an apartment complex he worked for.

42-Year-Old Joseph Pardew was a maintenance worker at the Briar Park and Richland Park Apartments.

Management tells FOX 42 that Pardew quit over the summer, but likely duplicated a master key before he was required to turn it in.

Police records show he has been arrested in the past for stealing a car, and cited for trying to steal a refrigerator from a garage he had a key for.

He's now in jail for stealing checks, money, and other valuable items including one tenant's mother's wedding ring worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Melanie Frazier has lived in the Briar Park Apartments for 5 years.

She says Pardew was a trusted employee, and she would even request to have him work on her apartment.

She says her neighbors noticed items missing from their apartments. That's when she searched her unit, and noticed a jewelry box was stolen, along with her mother's wedding ring. No one broke in, but rather, the thief used a key.

"I was absolutely heartbroken because she's not here anymore and that's all I had," said Frazier.

Management says they have replaced nearly 60 locks around her complex. They've posted a note on the door to notify tenants that all of their locks will be changed so that any old master keys will not work.

They say they have nightly security patrols, though Frazier believes her thefts happened during the day.

Frazier also had a truck stolen previously from the apartment which has not been recovered.

Pardew pleaded not guilty to theft charges. He will go to trial.