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Harvard burglary suspect arrested; two students robbed while sleeping in dorms

Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University in July 2020.TONY LUONG/NYT

An alert Harvard University police officer nabbed a burglary suspect early Thursday who’s allegedly responsible for multiple recent thefts on campus, including two cases where the victims were robbed as they slept unsuspecting in their dorm rooms, according to authorities.

The Harvard University Police Department said in a statement that the suspect, whose name they withheld, was apprehended around 1 a.m. Thursday in the area of Harvard Yard.

The suspect, the statement said, was “behaving in a suspicious manner around several undergraduate residences,” prompting the officer to approach him and initiate an interview.

During that interview, the statement said, “the officer determined that the individual was a suspect in the previous burglaries in Harvard Yard. Additionally, another unlawful entry was reported that had just occurred in Canaday Hall” that the suspect was allegedly responsible for as well. He was placed under arrest for burglary.

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Late last month, campus police had warned students about two of the recent burglaries that occurred in dorm rooms as the defenseless occupants slept.

In a Feb. 25 statement, police said that over the prior week, officers had responded to two reports of “unlawful entry” at Mower Hall and Wigglesworth Hall. In both cases, police said, victims reported that while they were sleeping, someone climbed through their first-floor windows and stole laptops, Air Pods, a backpack, and a wallet.

Police said unlawful entries of occupied rooms are “very rare” on campus and reminded students to take a number of precautions to protect themselves.

Those precautions include refraining from propping up interior or exterior doors, holding outside doors open for strangers, or letting strangers “piggyback” on their access card; and keeping their room doors locked at all times, even when in the room or just going down the hall for a few minutes.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.