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Attempted Thefts Strike Summer School Dorms

Two attempted burglaries in the Yard last weekend were the latest in a series of summer crimes, including a double burglary in early July that left two Holworthy residents without their laptops.

On Saturday, a resident in a Grays West proctor suite awoke at 2:45 a.m. to the sound of an intruder standing on the air conditioner outside the window.

At approximately the same time the next day, a summer school student in Stoughton encountered a hand reaching for his laptop underneath the screen window.

The unknown intruders fled both times.

In a crime alert issued to the Harvard community, the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) announced that it would increase its patrols in response.

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HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano, said he was uncertain whether the recent “spike” in criminal activity was unusual for Harvard Yard in the summer.

“Generally we do have a fair number of property crimes during the summer,” he said.

Catalano said that carelessness on the part of Yard residents will render HUPD’s extra measures ineffective.

“Ninety-five percent of all our crime on campus is property crime,” he said. “Almost all of that is unattended property.”

“They need to lock their window and lock their doors, keep their property away from doors and windows,” he said. “We’re comfortable with our measures, but that doesn’t take the community off the hook.”

Additionally, Catalano said he was disappointed in summer school students’ response to the safety seminar that HUPD held after the July 3 burglaries.

“Not one person showed up,” he said. “I know summer school students are busy...We can only be effective at what we do if the community works with us.”

Catalano said that the summer school administration has not invited HUPD to hold a second talk following the new incidents, but that they will organize one if asked to.

The Stoughton victim declined to comment, and the Grays resident could not be reached for comment.

—Staff writer Ryan J. Kuo can be reached at kuo@fas.harvard.edu.

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