As I was sitting in Olin at about 8:05 on Sunday night, minding my own business—which was, at the time, a Physics problem set—a loud, authoritative voice broke the usually monastic silence of the second floor. Initially, I was pretty annoyed. I’m having enough trouble applying Kepler’s laws of planetary motion without your help, you selfish jerk. Come on—THIS IS A LIBRARY!
As I stewed in my anger, I realized that this wasn’t a case of a couple of idiots talking too loudly—this was something serious. I got up and walked over to the door from the second floor stacks to the stairwell, where the commotion was. When I saw a group of three or four Public Safety officers standing over a young man in a chair, I stopped worrying that my laptop would be stolen in my absence, and my Wesleying blogger’s instinct took over: I started eavesdropping.
The officers were grilling the guy who, at this point, I thought was a student. They wanted him to take them to his car. However, the man seemed to have ‘forgotten’ where he had parked it. Then, they started to ask about a silver digital camera. Apparently he had been taking pictures of something he shouldn’t have been. By now, the man, an average looking guy, was hunched over in his seat. When he spoke, his flat, unexpressive voice delivered short, terse sentences. He sounded trapped.
Yesterday, John Meerts, Wesleyan’s VP for Finance and Administration, sent an all-campus email with some sobering news, informing the community that an officer with Wesleyan’s Public Safety Department had been arrested for theft.
I spoke with Dave Meyer, Director of Public Safety, yesterday afternoon to clarify the situation, though our conversation was limited by the ongoing criminal investigation.
Meyer reported that he received information before Christmas regarding the thefts. Coordinating with the Middletown Police Department, Wesleyan began an investigation within two days that resulted in the recovery of a number of stolen items, at which point Wesleyan again contacted the police to have the individual arrested. The stolen items themselves—reported to be electronics and cameras—have so far consisted solely of administrative equipment, though there is the possibility that student property may be among the as-yet-unidentified possessions.
Declining to discuss the particulars of the tip or the discovery of the stolen material, Meyer stated that though the investigation was conducted internally, the school worked closely with the police department throughout.
Just because P-Safe hasn’t sent you an alert doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. According to Middletown Patch, two men were found trespassing on campus around 3 a.m. last night. When questioned by a P-Safe officer, they tried to run and later gave false information. Interestingly, an MPD dog saved the day:
The report says Harris gave the name of a friend he was visiting, which turned out to be false. The report says he fled on foot but was caught by a police canine. Smith fled the scene, police say, but Wesleyan public safety said he was seen driving a Nissan Pathfinder around campus blowing his horn, seeming to be looking for Harris.
Smith was found on Rose Circle, the report says, but wouldn’t answer questions when asked. Smith finally gave his first name, the report says, and said the car was his mother’s but denied being on campus. Wesleyan officers identified Smith, the report says.
The two men were charged with “simple trespass, criminal impersonation and interfering with an office.”