Theft spree at the main campus

42 works of art were stolen from the display cases shown inside the Visual Arts building, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at Ocean campus. Photo by Elisa Parrino/The Guardsman

42 works of art were stolen from the display cases shown inside the Visual Arts building, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at Ocean campus. Photo by Elisa Parrino/The Guardsman

By Alex Lamp/The Guardsman

Three separate theft-related incidents were reported on Feb. 12. Two of the incidents were thefts at the Wellness Center and at the Visual Arts building. The third was an armed robbery inside Science Hall.

The first incident occurred between 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Wellness Center’s second-floor men’s locker room. Four students, including one student-athlete, reported their lockers being broken into and belongings missing.

“I know that the Wellness Center thefts were related. We know there was one individual that did those three thefts,” City College police officer Tiffany Green said. “The good news is, we have not been having too many locker thefts like we usually do. This is something that is unusual, to have three in one day.”

At approximately 6:15 p.m. the same day, a student was held up at gunpoint while exiting the second floor men’s restroom in Science Hall. The suspect used his handgun to pat down the victim and stole his watch, wallet and backpack.

He told the victim to wait in the restroom for 30 seconds and then fled the area.

Campus police said a similar robbery occurred at around the same time in the evening about a year ago outside of a restroom in Batmale Hall.

City College police determined the third theft began at 10 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Visual Arts building and continued through the night until 9 a.m. on Feb. 13. The two largest display cases in the building were broken into and 42 works of art were stolen.

“The visual arts theft … is very unusual,” Green said. “I think it might be someone that is close to that department or from that class.”

Campus police said the visual arts department refrained from coming forward about the incident. However, department representatives hope the works of art will be returned unharmed.

“I don’t think any [of the crimes] are related to [each other], they just all seemed to happen within the same day,” Green said.

As a result of the incidents, campus police are performing more security checks.

Two new police officers are also being hired in March and two more will be hired during the summer.

City College has installed new cameras that have better angles and clearer images in the Wellness Center to combat future thefts.

From Jan. 7 to Feb. 25, 17 theft-related crimes have occurred on Ocean campus and approximately $4,500 worth of  personal belongings have been stolen, according to City College Police Department crime statistics.

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