LAS VEGAS (AP) – The home of UNLV professor Naoko Takemaru, who was tragically killed in a mass shooting on campus, was reportedly burglarized last week, according to police reports. Takemaru, a well-respected Associate Professor at UNLV, was one of the victims in the December shooting.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police responded to a call from a neighbor on December 26, reporting a suspicious person leaving Takemaru’s home, which is now the subject of a burglary investigation. The neighbor observed a woman covering her face while entering the home, and leaving an hour later carrying multiple items with her.
Unfortunately, despite the neighbor’s attempts to take photos of the woman, she managed to evade capture by getting into a car with two men and driving away. Police were able to obtain a possible license plate number from the blurry photos. Upon entering the home, they found several cabinets open, although it remains unclear what exactly was taken.
Takemaru, 69, was a beloved Japanese Studies professor at UNLV for 20 years, known for her contributions to the study of Japanese language and society. Her tragic death in the mass shooting was a devastating loss for the university community.
After her death, neighbors held a candlelight vigil at her home, with signs and flowers still present by the garage. Police have taken measures to secure the home and prevent further vandalism, although they have been unable to reach Takemaru’s next of kin.
The burglary of Takemaru’s home has added further heartache to the tragic loss of a respected educator and member of the UNLV community. The investigation into the burglary remains ongoing as the community continues to mourn the loss of Naoko Takemaru.