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Senior Twice Nabs Theft Suspect

By Scott A. Resnick, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Harvard senior Kevin B. Acklin yesterday assisted in foiling a potential larceny by helping apprehend a criminal fleeing from an office at 1511 Mass. Ave.

Acklin said he was walking down Garden Street near Byerly Hall when he heard a car screech and saw the suspect in the street, about five feet in front of him.

Acklin said that he first thought the man had been hit by a car. But then, Acklin said, he saw two men yelling for him to catch the suspect.

According to Acklin, the suspect is a thin man, about five feet, 10 inches tall, with short, cropped hair and a dark complexion.

"He didn't look like a vagrant," he said, nothing the suspect's expensive-looking sneakers. "The guy was not a daunting figure."

According to Lt. John F. Rooney of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD), Nicholas Hallas was detained by police at 2:51 p.m. by Cambrige Common and charged with larceny.

Rooney said that Hallas' last known address is in Somerville.

According to Rooney, Hallas had entered the Mass. Ave. office and asked for information. The female employee helping him left the room briefly. When she returned, she found her wallet empty on her desk, and the suspect had disappeared, Rooney said.

Police declined to say how much money was stolen.

Two fellow employees ran after the suspect in an attempt to retrieve the money, Rooney said.

Acklin said that he saw the suspect being chased by the employees and pursued the suspect.

A former member of the Harvard football team, Acklin said he did not have trouble catching the suspect.

"He didn't really fight when I grabbed him," he said.

Upon catching the suspect, the two employees arrived and repeatedly asked him what he had done with the money he allegedly had stolen, Acklin said.

Though the suspect claimed to have no knowledge of the money, Acklin said that he saw him throw something into the bushes on the side of the road.

According to Acklin, one of the two employees retrieved the money from the bushes.

Acklin said that while the employees held the suspect, he went into an office across from Byerly Hall and called the police.

But as he was being held, the suspect allegedely offered to return to the office from which he had stolen the money to apologize. The employees reportedly disregarded the request, but decided to take the suspect back to 1511 Mass. Ave. to wait for the police.

The employees freed the suspect from their grip to walk back, and the suspect allegedly began to flee.

According to Acklin, the suspect ran into the Cambridge Common.

Acklin said he again chased the suspect, and with the help of a bystander, apprehended him for a second time that day.

"It was really, really high tension," Acklin said.

However, once he was caught, Acklin said that the suspect did not put up a fight.

"He wasn't really a combative guy," he said.

While others held the suspect, Acklin went to Byerly Hall to again contact the police for help. According to Acklin, the officers from the HUPD and the Cambridge Police Department arrived about 10 minutes after his first call.

Upon arriving at the scene, the police patted down the suspect and arrested him. Acklin said that he did not see the police remove any weapons from the suspect.

For Acklin, stepping into this potentially dangerous situation was not a matter of thinking, he said.

"I did it instinctively," he said

But as he was being held, the suspect allegedely offered to return to the office from which he had stolen the money to apologize. The employees reportedly disregarded the request, but decided to take the suspect back to 1511 Mass. Ave. to wait for the police.

The employees freed the suspect from their grip to walk back, and the suspect allegedly began to flee.

According to Acklin, the suspect ran into the Cambridge Common.

Acklin said he again chased the suspect, and with the help of a bystander, apprehended him for a second time that day.

"It was really, really high tension," Acklin said.

However, once he was caught, Acklin said that the suspect did not put up a fight.

"He wasn't really a combative guy," he said.

While others held the suspect, Acklin went to Byerly Hall to again contact the police for help. According to Acklin, the officers from the HUPD and the Cambridge Police Department arrived about 10 minutes after his first call.

Upon arriving at the scene, the police patted down the suspect and arrested him. Acklin said that he did not see the police remove any weapons from the suspect.

For Acklin, stepping into this potentially dangerous situation was not a matter of thinking, he said.

"I did it instinctively," he said

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