The Harvard University Police Department is investigating a series of thefts that occurred in River Houses and Yard dorms over the weekend, HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano announced in an email to University affiliates Monday.
HUPD officers responded to three separate reports of theft in Leverett House, 20 DeWolfe St., and Quincy House in the early hours of the Saturday morning, according to HUPD police logs. On Sunday, Harvard affiliates in Wigglesworth Hall reported three more incidents of overnight theft. The stolen items included Apple laptops, Canada Goose jackets, and several gold necklaces valued at more than a thousand dollars.
In three of the incidents, the burglar or burglars entered an occupied room, but residents “did not observe or have any contact with the offender(s),” Catalano wrote.
HUPD has not determined if the six incidents are connected, but detectives are actively investigating the situation, according to Catalano. He wrote that anyone with information about the thefts should contact the department.
Catalano and HUPD reminded students that while burglaries in occupied rooms are “very rare,” residents should take certain precautions to prevent theft.
“Residents should not prop interior or exterior doors at any time, hold an outside door open for strangers or allow strangers to ‘piggyback’ on their access card,” Catalano wrote. “Residents should keep their room doors locked at all times even when in the room or when going down the hall for only a few minutes.”
Catalano did not respond to a request for comment.
This incident comes a week after HUPD reported that more than $6,000 worth of electronics were stolen from the Dillon Fieldhouse in Allston, home to many varsity sports teams’ locker rooms, facilities, and coaches’ offices.
Numerous burglaries have been reported in freshman dorms and upperclassmen residences in recent years. Over a weekend in September 2016, ten laptops disappeared from Yard and River dorms. In September 2018, students reported that a suspect climbed through a first-floor window in Holworthy Hall and took laptops, wallets, and an iPad.
The Undergraduate Council’s Student Life Committee voted unanimously 11-0 in favor of installing security cameras outside dorms in 2016.
Roughly 90 laptops are stolen each year at Harvard University, according to the HUPD website.
—Staff writer Charles Xu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @charles_xu_27.