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Laptop bust

By Mandy Cook | Dec. 1, 2009

Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP), in conjunction with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), has apprehended four individuals in connection with several laptop thefts on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

A number of students reported the theft of their personal computers from the QE II library and the University Centre on Nov. 17 and 24. The students reported the items stolen to CEP and, in addition, registered the computers’ serial numbers with the RNC.

Meanwhile, CEP officers reviewed video recorded on surveillance cameras operating in the QE II library, which caught several of the thefts in progress. The RNC’s General Investigation Unit was then able to identify the perpetrators as known individuals and continued the investigation from there.

John Browne, manager of campus enforcement, applauds his staff for their quick action and co-operation with the constabulary. He said CEP works very well with the municipal police force and the university security unit appreciates their support.

“It was a collaborative effort,” said Mr. Brown. “The RNC could not have done it without our assistance and ultimately, if they didn't dedicate the resources to investigate and follow up on our leads, it would not have been brought to the very favorable conclusion.”

A 23-year-old male and a 17-year-old female were arrested Nov. 27, while a 20-year-old male and 21-year-old male were arrested Nov. 28. The 23-year-old male has been held for a bail hearing, while the others have been released to appear in court in January 2010.

Mr. Browne stresses that students have a responsibility to be more vigilant about their electronic devices or any other valuable possessions.

“The simple answer is to not leave these items unattended,” said Mr. Browne. “By doing so you are creating an opportunity for someone to take them.”

Police are seeking the assistance of the general public and ask anyone that may have any information in relation to the thefts to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can provide information at the NL Crime Stoppers website at