Three Laptops, Wallet Lifted From Dorms Over Weekend

Straus Hall
Offenders stole laptop computers from from first-floor rooms in Straus Hall this weekend.

Harvard Yard and Radcliffe Quad saw three separate laptop thefts from first-floor student rooms over the weekend, including one in which the burglarized suite was occupied at the time.

Steven G. Catalano, spokesperson for the Harvard University Police Department, notified University affiliates of the incidents in an advisory email sent around 2:30 p.m. Monday. According to the email, the police are still investigating the thefts, and are currently unsure of whether the incidents are connected.

The two incidents in the Yard, which houses most of College’s freshman class, occurred in suites on the first floors of Straus and Mower Halls on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. In both of these incidents, the offenders “opened or pushed in screen windows” and took laptops that were on desks near the windows, according to the advisory.

The theft in the Quad occurred on Sunday in Pforzheimer House’s Comstock Hall, according to Catalano. The offender entered two rooms in an occupied suite and left with two laptops and a wallet, according to the alert. None of the suite occupants noticed the theft taking place.

Adam Gordon ’21, who had his laptop stolen from his room in Straus, said he was gone for only few hours and had left his laptop on his desk, as he had normally done in the past.

“I came back, and I had work due, so I went to grab my computer, and where I had it on my desk, it was missing,” Gordon said. “I thought it was a cruel joke from my roommates at first.”

After looking around, Gordon said he and his roommates found that their screen window was loose, several leaves had fallen from a plant near the window, and that Gordon’s headphones were unplugged outside the window. Gordon said he and his roommates had not secured the safety lock on the window in order to cool down the temperature of the room.

Though Gordon reached out to HUPD, he said he has accepted that his laptop most likely will not be returned and plans to be more vigilant in the future.

Catalano advised students to keep their doors locked at all times, to not allow strangers to enter residence halls, and to keep property away from windows.

The thefts come a semester after a string of laptop thefts in Lowell House, in which six laptops, a cell phone, and a wallet were taken from unlocked rooms.

—Staff writer Michael E. Xie can be reached at michael.xie@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEXie1.

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