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Harvard Police Investigating Two Burglaries in Freshman Dorms

Freshmen living in Holworthy Hall reported laptops and wallets were stolen from their common room early Wednesday morning.
The Harvard University Police Department is investigating two separate thefts in freshman dorms over the past two weeks, HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano announced in an email to University affiliates Wednesday.

Several residents of Holworthy Hall notified HUPD Wednesday that while they were asleep someone “climbed through their first floor common room window and stole laptops, wallets, and an iPad,” Catalano wrote. On August 28 — less than 24 hours after the Class of 2022 arrived on campus — a freshman in Mower reported that, while he had been asleep the previous night, someone raised the screen on his open window and took a laptop from a nearby desk.

HUPD does not know if these burglaries are connected, per Catalano’s email. He urged anyone who has information about the thefts to contact the department.

James F. Mooney ’22, the Mower resident whose computer was stolen, said he felt concerned when he realized his laptop had been stolen, but feels “glad this happened during the first week of school and not finals week.”

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“I’m glad we all learned, in our entryway, the lesson pretty early of how to keep our room secure,” Mooney said.

The burglaries have since prompted some freshmen on the first floors of Holworthy and Mower to take additional precautions.

Douglass A. Bryant ’22, who lives on the first floor of Holworthy, said the first thing he did after learning about the robberies was lock his windows.

“I don’t think it’s going to be an ongoing problem, but it just keeps it fresh in your mind, that you have to be on guard,” he said. “You’re not living in a total bubble. There’s stuff you have to look out for.”

Theo P. Lukin Yelin ’22, whose dorm is on the first floor of Mower, said he thought it was “pretty weird” that a robbery occurred on the first night of school.

“It makes you look twice before leaving the room but other than that, it’s not like it’s been happening every night so far,” he said.

In his email, Catalano urged Harvard affiliates not to prop doors open, to keep their rooms locked, to close their windows when leaving the room, and to “keep all property away from windows.”

He declined to comment Wednesday on whether HUPD is taking additional steps to prevent future burglaries.

“It is the longstanding policy of the HUPD not to comment on staffing levels or security measures,” Catalano wrote.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at caroline.engelmayer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

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