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Series of Thefts, Acts of Vandalism Hit Greenough

First-Year Robbed of $450 in Property

By Caitlin E. Anderson

A first-year was robbed early Thursday morning of about $450 worth of personal items in the latest in a series of thefts and acts of vandalism in Greenough Hall which began Feb. 13.

T. Timothy Wang '00 said a watch, a Walkman and an electronic organizer were stolen from his room at about 1 a.m. on Thursday when Wang went across the hall to visit a friend, leaving his door unlocked.

"I was gone for maybe 10 minutes," he said.

In a separate incident that evening, Dearblha S. McHenry '00 had a Walkman stolen from the Greenough common room. A cassette tape that was in it had been tossed into a bowl of water, according to Greenough proctor Jeanne Y.Evans.

The thefts came on the heels of a Feb. 13 incident in which vandals stole McHenry's wallet from the Greenough common room and vandalized the first-year dormitory's kitchen, Evans said.

The Harvard Police are investigating the incidents. However, the detective assigned to the case could not be reached for comment over the weekend.

It is unclear at this point whether any of the thefts or acts of vandalism are related.

Last week, Evans warned students in Greenough to lock their doors and to ask strangers who attempt to gain admission to the dormitory for an ID.

Evans said she believes that the easy street access to the doors of Greenough might make it an appealing target for thieves.

Wang said he had not heeded that advice previously.

"I sometimes leave my door unlocked when I know I'm going to be on the floor, because I figure I'd be able to hear if someone were there," Wang said.

Last Thursday, when he returned to his room, Wang said he didn't see anything out of the ordinary until he tried to use his computer.

Wang noticed that someone had disconnected the cables connecting the laptop to his printer and power source, and had closed the screen.

But since his laptop was clamped to the desk, the thief could not have stolen the whole unit, said Wang, who is a Crimson editor.

Although Wang told the police that nothing else had been stolen, he noticed later that morning that his watch, worth about $250, was missing.

Later in the weekend, he realized that his organizer and a Walkman--together worth about $200--were also missing.

Jared S. White '00, a Greenough resident, said he thinks he might have seen the thief.

Around 1 a.m. he heard a light knock on his door, but by the time White answered, the person was hurrying down the stairs.

White called out to the stranger and asked him what he wanted. The man responded that he wanted to know if someone by the name of "Brett" was home, White said.

"It was a really strange name, and I just said that no one by that name lived here. Then he just left," White said. "I didn't think anything of it until I talked to Tim [Wang], but then I thought it was really suspicious."

White said he only saw the man from the back, describing him as about 5 feet 10 inches with dark curly hair.

Greenough residents said they had had no reason to expect the robberies in their dorm.

"I haven't seen anyone suspicious," said Wang. "Greenough's pretty small, and I'am sure I'd notice any strange people wandering around."

But less than a week before, McHenry's wallet and key card had been stolen from the Greenough Hall common room.

Sarah A. Cohen '00, a resident of Greenough, said she thought she saw the person who stole McHenry's wallet.

Cohen identified the man as about 5 feet 8 inches, blond and wearing a baseball hat.

"He walked through the room from one door and out the other," she said. "He looked like he was kind of confused and surprised to see people there."

Cohen said the man did not say anything to her and she did not recognize him as a student in the dorm.

McHenry, an oboist, often practices in the basement common room so as not to disturb her neighbors, Evans said.

Evans said McHenry was asleep in the common room for part of the night on Thursday, Feb. 13.

McHenry could not be reached for comment.

Phoebe A. Search '00, McHenry's roommate, had a guest in their room that night which is why McHenry was sleeping in the common room, Search said.

According to Evans, McHenry noticed that her wallet, which contained her ID card and a credit card, was missing at 9:30 on the morning of Friday, Feb. 14.

Although she called to cancel her credit card by 10 a.m., $300 had already been stolen from her bank account, Evans said.

Later that day, at about 3 p.m., Evans said she found a huge mess in the common kitchen.

Eggs, ice cream, concentrated juice and other items had been poured in the sink and smeared over the interior of the refrigerator, she said.

A utensil tray had been filled with water and overflowed into the kitchen cabinets.

Evans said she also suspects that the vandals were responsible for a bottle of raspberry vinaigrette poured over two loads of clean laundry that had been removed from a clothes dryer that day.

The laundry belonged to Brian J. Daigle '00, who said he discovered his vandalized laundry at about the same time that the the mess in the kitchen was found.

Evans said that the two events might be related.

"I see no reason why they wouldn't be," she said.

Evans sent an e-mail message to her proctor group stating that McHenry had seen three strangers wandering around Greenough the night before she discovered her wallet was missing.

According to Evans, McHenry said she saw a girl with long wavy brown hair, a shorter man with brown hair and a tall man with a blond head that was "almost shaved."

In a written statement distributed over e-mail by her proctor, McHenry described the strangers as "college age, and all looking, (to me anyways) like ordinary college students."

Sarah E. Birmingham, another Greenough proctor, said she remembers a similar series of thefts last year.

In September 1995, a combination VCR and TV disappeared from the Greenough common room. Later in the year, a bass guitar, jewelry and other personal items were stolen from dorm rooms.

However, unlike the recent thefts which happened in the period of a week, last year's crimes were spread out throughout the year.

"Sometimes last year it looked like the thieves could have been students, other times it was obvious it was someone who depended on having a getaway car," said Evans

"I haven't seen anyone suspicious," said Wang. "Greenough's pretty small, and I'am sure I'd notice any strange people wandering around."

But less than a week before, McHenry's wallet and key card had been stolen from the Greenough Hall common room.

Sarah A. Cohen '00, a resident of Greenough, said she thought she saw the person who stole McHenry's wallet.

Cohen identified the man as about 5 feet 8 inches, blond and wearing a baseball hat.

"He walked through the room from one door and out the other," she said. "He looked like he was kind of confused and surprised to see people there."

Cohen said the man did not say anything to her and she did not recognize him as a student in the dorm.

McHenry, an oboist, often practices in the basement common room so as not to disturb her neighbors, Evans said.

Evans said McHenry was asleep in the common room for part of the night on Thursday, Feb. 13.

McHenry could not be reached for comment.

Phoebe A. Search '00, McHenry's roommate, had a guest in their room that night which is why McHenry was sleeping in the common room, Search said.

According to Evans, McHenry noticed that her wallet, which contained her ID card and a credit card, was missing at 9:30 on the morning of Friday, Feb. 14.

Although she called to cancel her credit card by 10 a.m., $300 had already been stolen from her bank account, Evans said.

Later that day, at about 3 p.m., Evans said she found a huge mess in the common kitchen.

Eggs, ice cream, concentrated juice and other items had been poured in the sink and smeared over the interior of the refrigerator, she said.

A utensil tray had been filled with water and overflowed into the kitchen cabinets.

Evans said she also suspects that the vandals were responsible for a bottle of raspberry vinaigrette poured over two loads of clean laundry that had been removed from a clothes dryer that day.

The laundry belonged to Brian J. Daigle '00, who said he discovered his vandalized laundry at about the same time that the the mess in the kitchen was found.

Evans said that the two events might be related.

"I see no reason why they wouldn't be," she said.

Evans sent an e-mail message to her proctor group stating that McHenry had seen three strangers wandering around Greenough the night before she discovered her wallet was missing.

According to Evans, McHenry said she saw a girl with long wavy brown hair, a shorter man with brown hair and a tall man with a blond head that was "almost shaved."

In a written statement distributed over e-mail by her proctor, McHenry described the strangers as "college age, and all looking, (to me anyways) like ordinary college students."

Sarah E. Birmingham, another Greenough proctor, said she remembers a similar series of thefts last year.

In September 1995, a combination VCR and TV disappeared from the Greenough common room. Later in the year, a bass guitar, jewelry and other personal items were stolen from dorm rooms.

However, unlike the recent thefts which happened in the period of a week, last year's crimes were spread out throughout the year.

"Sometimes last year it looked like the thieves could have been students, other times it was obvious it was someone who depended on having a getaway car," said Evans

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