Thefts continue multiply campus wide

by Beacon Staff • October 4, 2011

strongJeannie Rodriguez, Beacon Staff/strong

Thousands of dollars worth of bicycles, electronics, and bookstore merchandise were stolen during a month-long spike in thefts around campus, police said.

Lt. Eric Schiazza of the Emerson College Police Department said the thefts increased in the last two weeks as an iPad from 120 Boylston St., a laptop from the Bill Bordy Theater, a purse and two wallets from the visitor’s center, and items from the Barnes amp; Noble bookstore were stolen. Six bikes were snatched since the start of the summer.

Schiazza said an unknown male stole the purse and wallets from the visitor’s center at 10 Boylston Pl. on Saturday, after he walked into the area near a kitchenette and a bathroom.

He said the receptionist saw the suspect, but thought the male was an employee of the college. After a few minutes, the receptionist grew suspicious and entered the back room, but the suspect was gone.

One of the wallets stolen belonged to senior marketing communication major Michelle Zelman.

Zelman, who has worked as a tour guide at the visitor center since January, said the backroom is often used as a hangout and study room when the tour guides are not leading guests around the campus. Upon returning from a tour, Zelman noticed her wallet was missing from her purse.

“The girls offered to help me find my wallet until they noticed theirs were missing too,” said Zelman.

ECPD reported to the scene after the theft and are currently investigating the crime. According to Schiazza, police obtained a photograph of the suspect from a nearby surveillance camera, but are not releasing it at this time.

Three days after the thefts at the visitor’s center, ECPD deputy chief Scott Bornstein said a man entered the Barnes amp; Noble bookstore on Boylston Street and was seen taking electronics from the shelves and concealing them in his jacket.

Employees alerted the manager, who called police, Bornstein said. After the responding officer saw the electronic equipment hanging out of the suspects jacket, the man subsequently admitted to taking the items. The suspect was then arrested.

Sheldon Calero, senior journalism major, said he’s glad that the ECPD is holding investigations to catch the thieves.

“It’s not that I don’t feel unsafe at school or that I’m worried about my stuff being stolen,” Calero said, “But I’m glad they’re out there catching the crooks. I have no patience for people who steal from other people.”

strongCorrections:/strongem

/emAn earlier version of this article titled Four robberies added to string of thefts incorrectly referred to Lt. Eric Schiazza is a Emerson Police Department Spokesperson.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that six bicycles had been stolen since the start of the semester. There have been a total of six bicycles stolen from the Emerson campus since July.