Student losses from theft of clothing, jewelry, and money in the Houses and dormitories have undergone a striking decrease in comparison with last year as a result of increased Yard Police efficiency and in an intensive campaign carried on by Aldrich Durant '02, Business Manager of the University.
Whereas petty thievery in 75 reported instances had resulted in the loss of approximately $3500 at this time last March, figures obtained from Lehman Hall indicate that only 35 cases of robbery have been brought to light since the beginning of this academic year.
Although the University has never been able completely to exterminate the menace of prowlers and suspects in the Houses and the Yard, conditions have been materially improved since last year's campaign urging students to keep their doors locked. Cooperation on the part of the latter has substantially aided the Yard Police in the apprehension of suspected criminals.
The favorite method employed by dormitory thieves involves the collaboration of two confederates who contact Harvard students at Boston hotels and bars.
As soon as one man has formed an acquaintance, he visits the student in his room and is sometimes allowed to stay over night. A few days after his departure, his confederates comes to Cambridge and make away with those articles which have been selected by the first man.
Pairs of such criminals operate for three or four months in the vicinity of Harvard Square, subsequently disappearing to continue their activities in Princeton, New Haven, or some other college center.
In most cases the Yard Police have had difficulting in convicting guilty persons because students have refused to appear in court to identify suspects. Since the men are usually well dressed, it is impossible to identify them as strangers when they enter College buildings. In some cases portions of the stolen goods have been recovered in Boston pawnshops, but of late none of the property has been turned over to local brokers