Thieves steal TV, VCR from UA office
By Andrea Lamberti
Two men broke into the Undergraduate Association and Technique offices at about 2:30 am Wednesday, making off with a 19-inch television monitor and videocassette recorder valued at $900. Student groups had stored three televisions and three VCRs in the UA office that night after the freshman activities midway.
Nothing was actually stolen from the Technique office, but the burglars did remove an answering machine, a pair of ice skates and the Technique plaster mascot, "Grogo," from the office, and left them in the hallway.
The thieves "evidently used their hands," said Campus Police detective Eugene H. Salois, to break through the offices' corridor windows. Both offices are located on the fourth floor of
the Julius A. Stratton Student Center.
They probably broke in to the Technique office first, Campus Police Lt. Michael J. Norton Jr. said, and severely cut themselves on the broken glass. The same method of entry was used to enter the UA office as well. The thieves left a trail of blood in both offices and in the corridor.
A cleaning woman working on the floor at the time later said she noticed two white males in the area, but thought they were MIT students and did not react immediately, according to Norton.
The thieves were not MIT students, though, Norton said. He added that they were in their late teens or early twenties. CPs identified them as part of a group of residents of the housing projects on Main St., near Technology Square, based on their behavior in this incident.
All those who saw the bloody trails and broken glass agreed that the thieves were amateurs. "There aren't too many professionals" who injure themselves so badly and leave such a blatant trail during a crime, Salois said.
They trailed blood "all over the floor, equipment [and] around the office," according
to Sharon Potter Shea, staff accountant in the UA office. The thieves apparently considered stealing a Macintosh computer from the UA office as well, said Shea, because they left blood all over it. She speculated that they could not manage to take it or anything more because of their injuries, or because they thought someone would catch them in the act.
"Fortunately, they . . . left behind a couple of 25-inch monitors" and the two VCRs, said Richard P. Kohut, manager of MIT Audio Visual, which rented the equipment to Association of Student Activities and Dramashop. Dramashop is responsible for covering the cost of replacing the stolen equipment, Kohut added, because MIT's insurance policy does not cover thefts below $1000.
Computer, stereo stolen
from MTG office last weekend
In another recent student center robbery, a burglar broke into the Musical Theatre Guild office, also on the fourth floor, stealing a Macintosh computer and a portable stereo and compact disc player sometime between 7 pm Saturday and 10 am Sunday, according to Mary Linton B. Thompson '92, secretary of MTG. The stolen items did not belong to MTG itself, but to two of the group's members.
There was no sign of forced entry on the office door, Thompson said, but she "sincerely" doubted that the crime was committed by a Guild member, because members would have known where to find MTG funds. The thief most likely knew the combination on the MTG office's door lock, which is changed after each MTG show.
The burglar tried to open a padlocked desk drawer by clipping the lock and bending the drawer back. An internal desk lock prevented the thief from opening the drawer, though, where MTG had about $2000.
Equipment stolen from
The Tech last summer
Over the summer, burglars broke into the offices of The Tech and stole computer equipment and telephones valued at
a total of $5000. Sometime between 2 am and 3 am on June 6, they broke through the louvered vents at the bottom of the doors to get inside.
They took three digital telephones, one computer monitor and three keyboards.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Campus Police would not confirm a relationship among the four burglaries.
Phillip J. Walsh, director of the Campus Activities Complex, said that as far as he knew there were no other student center break-ins over the summer.
UA considers new
The UA office is not equipped with a burglar alarm system, according to UA President Manish Bapna '91, with the exception of the Finance Board office door. Currently the UA is researching alarms that would connect to the sockets of electrical equipment, "for all the student groups" with space in the student center, Bapna said.
"We [also] really have to explore the idea of getting a night watchman for the student center," Bapna added. With that type of security, student groups might not have to install alarm systems in their offices, he noted.
Presently, the building is on a route schedule for the Campus Police, Walsh said. He also said the Campus Activities Complex is planning to write a letter to groups in the student center, asking them to take precautionary measures in an attempt to increase "sensitivity to these occurrences."