Over the weekend, a series of thefts occurred in Williams Hall: Four laptops, three iPods and one Xbox game system were stolen from entry common rooms as well as from one student room. The thefts have been reported to the Williamstown Police Department (WPD), and Campus Safety & Security is moving forward with the investigation. Jean Thorndike, director of Security, sent out an all-campus e-mail on Sunday morning notifying the College community of the thefts.
According to Thorndike, the four laptops were all stolen from entry common rooms in frosh quad. The first two thefts occurred in Williams Hall D common rooms early on Saturday morning, and the second two laptops were stolen from the Williams Hall F third floor common room on Saturday evening. Of the three iPods that were stolen, two were taken from Williams Hall A and B common rooms, and one was stolen from an unlocked student room in Williams Hall A. An Xbox game system and game were taken from a Williams Hall E common room. The total value of the items is estimated to be over $4000.
Rebecca Nichols ’13, whose 13-inch silver MacBook Pro was among the laptops stolen, said that she noticed that her laptop was missing when she woke up on Saturday morning.
“I used it at 1 a.m. before I went to bed and then closed it and left it on my desk in my common room, like I do every night,” Nichols said. “As my room is so small, and I really only have my bed and closet in there, I leave my laptop in my common room where my desk is.” Nichols’ roommate reported using the computer at around 4 or 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The Office of Information and Technology (OIT) was initially able to track Nichols’ laptop, but lost contact with it around 5:53 a.m.
“A new laptop is a huge deal for a college student, especially a freshman. I just want it back,” Nichols said, adding that she would not ask any questions if her laptop was just returned to her.
Shirley Li ’13, whose silver MacBook Pro was also stolen, acknowledged that the chances of the items being recovered are slim. Li’s laptop and another student’s HP laptop, as well as their chargers and Li’s iPod earphones, were stolen from the Williams Hall F third floor common room between 9 p.m. and midnight on Saturday.
“We leave – or I should probably say left – our stuff in the common room all the time and really didn’t think too much about it,” Li said. “[This is] definitely not happening anymore.” She also noted that one student’s Dell laptop that was in the same common room at the time was not taken.
“It’s pretty disappointing if it is a student [who stole the laptops],” Li said. “It’s just so fantastically mind-blowing for a member of the Williams community to steal from another student, especially something which is so personal and necessary.”