Laptop thefts in Crothers Hall raise concern

March 17, 2016, 7:53 p.m.

Residents of Crothers Hall are on alert after multiple laptop thefts in conjunction with reports of an unfamiliar man entering the building.

Two laptops were reported stolen from Crothers Hall in the last four weeks, according to the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS). The first laptop went missing on Feb. 20 and the second on March 12. Both incidents coincided with sightings of an unfamiliar white, middle-aged man near the rooms where items disappeared.

Most recently, on March 15, a man matching descriptions of the previously-sighted stranger attempted to enter Crothers Hall while claiming to be an employee of Residential Education. Dorm residents called SUDPS after encountering the man, but police were unable to locate him.

In a March 15 email to all resident assistants (RAs), Crothers Hall RA Jason Khoo ’16 expressed particular concern about “how confident, knowledgeable, and prepared the [alleged] thief seemed to be.”

Khoo noted that in the March 15 incident, the man claimed his badge was not working and showed students a calendar event on his iPhone for a workshop at a nonexistent room in the dorm.

Crothers Hall residents and staff members described the man as bald, lacking facial hair and about 5’ 8” in height.

William Larson, a spokesperson for SUDPS, said in an email to The Daily that campus police have not identified a suspect in the thefts but have increased their patrols around student residences.

Larson offered a number of tips to help students keep their belongings safe. He warned against leaving valuables unattended, keeping rooms unlocked when one leaves and letting strangers follow behind when one enters a residence. He also advised students to avoid propping open doors and to lock windows, especially on ground floors.

Larson said that students should immediately report any crime or suspicious activity by calling Stanford police, using 9-1-1 for emergencies or 650-329-2413 for non-emergencies. 


Contact Hannah Knowles at hknowles ‘at’

Hannah Knowles is senior staff writer from San Jose who served as Volume 253 Editor-in-Chief. Prior to that, she managed The Daily's news section.

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