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BU Thefts Serve as Warning to Students

By Jeremy Hylton

Boston University police are looking for two suspects involved in a number of thefts at a BU-owned youth hostel on Beacon Street. The MIT Campus Police issued a bulletin last week to alert students to the possibility of thefts this time of year, according to Police Chief Anne P. Glavin.

"This is a big time of year for theft," Glavin said.

However, Glavin was not aware of any thefts involving MIT fraternities in Boston. Nor have there been any similar thefts on campus, she said.

The thefts at the youth hostel involved suspects who gained entrance to the hostel by claiming to be looking for a guest. Once inside the hostel, the suspects would break into a room and steal whatever they could, according to Detective Steven Giacoppo of the BU Police.

"It's kind of a laid-back attitude [at the hostel] so people come and go," Giacoppo said. "Sometimes these people just piggyback in with someone and they just take what they can."

Because the suspects entered the rooms without permission, they would be charged with both larceny and breaking and entering, Giacoppo said.

One suspect is described as a 30-year-old white male, 6 feet tall, weighing about 170 pounds, according to the Campus Police bulletin. He has a medium complexion, brown hair, and brown eyes.

The bulletin describes the second suspect as a 38-year-old black male, 5-feet-9-inches tall. He has a medium complexion, black hair, and brown eyes. The bulletin says he is known to commit crimes early in the morning.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the second suspect, Giacoppo said.

Both Glavin and Giacoppo said that many thefts occur at this time of year, when people are moving in and out of housing.

"Larceny season is upon us," Giacoppo said. "This type of crime will be a crime of opportunity. I don't care how much time you think you're going to be away from your property. There's a 50-50 chance that your property will not be there" when you return, he said.

Giacoppo said students should be sure to watch their property carefully, not to leave anything in a car overnight, and not to prop doors open when carrying things in and out.

The Campus Police crime prevention unit also made several suggestions:

Report suspicious activities in Boston by calling 911.

Keep all exterior doors locked, and do not prop doors open.

Beware of tailgaters and strangers looking for residents of your house.

Windows, particularly those on the first floor and on fire escapes, should be equipped with locks that allow ventilation but do not allow the window to be opened enough for someone to crawl through.