Photographic equipment worth nearly $15,000 was stolen from the Harvard Medical School this weekend
Thieves took four cameras--one of which was specially built and cost $6000--two tape recorders, and a projector from the office of Edward A. Mason, assistant professor of Mental Health, located in a Huntington Avenue apartment building near the Medical School.
Mason had spent the past year gathering the special equipment, which was to be used in a four-year project being carried out under a National Institute of Mental Health grant. Everything was insured, but loss of the rare equipment may set the project back a year.
The burglary occurred sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 6:15 a.m. Saturday, when an associate of Mason entered the building and discovered that the doors to the office building and to a storage closet had been forced open.
Oddly, the thieves took only the equipment being used for the Mental Health project, and ignored other items--including an electric typewriter--which were in the office. This is unusual, since a typewriter could be resold very easily, but most of the photo equipment could not be sold without arousing suspicion.
Several Trips Required
Furthermore, Mason said, the equipment was so highly specialized that it is doubtful the thieves wanted it for their personal use. (One of the cameras stolen was a battery-powered model similar to the portables used by television networks in their convention coverage.)
The equipment was so heavy and bulky that the thieves could not have removed it from the office inconspicuously. They would have had to make several trips from the third floor to their car.
The burglars probably escaped notice because the other apartment on the floor apartments were away for the weekend.