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Ten laptops, together worth thousands of dollars, were stolen from dorm rooms across campus last weekend, and the Harvard University Police Department continues its investigation.
The laptops were stolen last weekend in Canaday Hall and Stoughton Hall in Harvard Yard as well as in Adams House, Mather House and Leverett House, according to the HUPD crime log. The laptops were valued between $800 and $3,500 each. Nine of the 10 thefts occurred the night of Sept. 16.
Leverett resident Alec C. McNiff ’18 learned that his iPad was stolen Friday evening, while his roommates had lost their laptops.
“It was this past Friday, which was the day of the Harvard versus [the University of Rhode Island] football game. Myself and all my roommates went to the tailgates,” McNiff said. “None of us really returned to the room until around midnight.”
McNiff said that the door to his room had been propped open by a hanger and that the next morning his roommates could not find their laptops. They immediately began searching the room—but to no avail.
“Once we ransacked our room and found nothing we contacted HUPD and they said they’d get on it,” McNiff said.
Adam L. Chiavacci ’18, another Leverett resident and one of McNiff’s roommates, woke up on Saturday morning to find his laptop missing and soon realized his roommates had lost their electronics as well. They filed a report with HUPD soon after.
McNiff said he and his roommates have not heard anything from HUPD since they filed their report. According to HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano, the investigation into the multiple thefts is still ongoing.
Chiavacci said the lack of computer was an inconvenience, but he was not afraid that someone had entered his room.
“I don’t feel like I would be in any danger, but it’s rough all together that they stole my computer,” he said.
River Houses have in recent years had high rates of electronics theft. HUPD officials have often advised students not to prop open doors and to monitor who follows them into their dormitories.
Paul J. Hegarty, Leverett’s building manager, wrote in an emailed statement that thefts like these are frightening but preventable.
“No one ever thinks they are going to get robbed, so they prop their door open or they hide their key in an obvious location near the door.” Hegarty wrote. “In a rush, people do not pay attention and even hold the door open for robbers trying to get in.”
“It’s been a hassle,” Chiavacci said. “I guess that I’ve got to start locking my doors now.”
Hegarty stressed that the convenience of propping doors is not worth the potential for theft and trespassing.
“I care about their property but property can always be replaced. I care more about the people in my buildings,” Hegarty wrote. “If you lock your doors then you greatly reduce the chance you will be robbed.”
—Staff writer Joshua Florence can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaFlorence1.
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