By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
UPDATED 7:50 PM EDT
According to numerous reports, a tragic double murder occurred in an unnamed luxury Boston condominium this weekend. Two well-respected doctors, Richard Field and Lina Bolanos, were found deceased in their penthouse condo. The couple had been tied up, their throats slit allegedly by Bampumim Teixeira of Chelsea, a 30-year old recently released from prison on felony charges.
The question on the minds of condo owners: “how could this have happened in our secure building?”
According to owners, as reported by several sources, entry to the penthouse, by way of elevator to the 11th floor, requires a special key. Investigators currently assume that Field and Bolanos knew Teixeira and allowed him to access the building and their penthouse unit.
But at this early stage in the investigation, there have been no conclusive reports on the motives for the attack or how Teixeira was able to gain access to the couple’s unit.
UPDATE: According to reports, investigators have determined that Teixeira was a former private security guard at the condo. The suspect was found with Bolanos’ jewelry stolen from the condo unit.
That certainly explains how Teixeira was able to gain access to the penthouse.
Unfortunately, this is yet another case of a private security guard (in this case a former guard) harming condo residents rather than helping them.
False sense of security?
Buyers and tenants alike are often willing to pay more for enhanced private security measures. Those could include gated entry to the community or parking garage, 24/7 security staff located at guard gates or in condominium or cooperative lobbies, surveillance cameras, password-protected gates and door locks, and, as in this particular case, a dedicated elevator key.
But each and every one of these security strategies is vulnerable in its own way. For example, food delivery drivers tend to know passwords for entry to communities or condo lobbies. Maintenance staff and onsite security would also have access to all portions of the building, including keys to individual units or apartments, to be used for emergencies. The truth is, most residents have no idea exactly how many people have access to keys, security codes, and even surveillance systems.
And if one of your neighbors knowingly allows a thief or violent criminal to enter the community or your condo building – perhaps they trust the individual, or are unaware of their criminal history – there is a frightening risk to all residents.
Some experts say that the presence of security systems can encourage a false sense of security, preventing residents from being vigilant and taking necessary precautions.
Hopefully, the public will learn more of the details of this attack, in order to prevent similar tragedy in the future.
A key question in the ongoing investigation is how the killer gained access to the couple’s apartment, located in a well-secured, upscale building.
“You can’t get up there without a key,” building resident Jack Fu told WCVB. “The elevators wouldn’t even open the door for you without a key. So there’s no access unless someone lets you in.”
Building residents are also trying to process what happened.
“They just seemed like decent folks. It’s not what you’d expect,” resident Jack Fu said.
Another resident, Marisa Richards, says she was surprised because of the building’s security. “It’s a very safe area. It’s a very secure building. The security is really safe. It’s very hard to get into the building, so I was shocked.”
Local Video coverage:
Couple killed in South Boston apartment building identified (Fox 25 News, Boston)
Cops Find Doctors Slain Inside Boston Penthouse After Shootout With Suspect (Huffington Post, Video courtesy of CBS affiliate WBZ News 4, Boston)
“(For) someone to come here, go up to the 11th floor, to the penthouse, we got to believe that somehow there was some type of knowledge of each other,” Police Commissioner William B. Evans told reporters.
Neighbors, speaking to local WCVB, also said that access to the penthouse requires a key that only the unit’s residents have.
“You can’t get up there without a key. The elevators wouldn’t even open the door for you without a key. So there’s no access unless someone lets you in,” resident Jack Fu told the local station.