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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Equipment worth $5,000 stolen from Robinson Hall

Hanover Police is investigating the theft of more than $5,000 worth of equipment, including a copier and a laptop computer, from Robinson Hall since August.

Hanover Police Officer Rick Paulsen said the police currently have no suspects and that the department is still "looking into all avenues."

Robinson Hall, which houses many student organizations including Dartmouth Broadcasting, the Dartmouth Outing Club and The Dartmouth, is in the middle of a year-long renovation project. Jackson Construction started renovations in August and expects to complete the construction by the end of the Summer term.

During the renovations, many of the groups have been forced to move to interim housing and many of the doors to the building have been left unlocked to allow access by construction workers.

In early October, about $3,896 of equipment was stolen from the second-floor offices of WFRD-FM and WDCR-AM, the College's two radio stations, according to April Whitescarver '96, the general manager of Dartmouth Broadcasting.

The stolen equipment includes a lap-top computer, a $400 WFRD banner, 40 CDs, a radio, stylus needles, headphones, tape cartridges and a computer cord, Whitescarver wrote in an electronic-mail message.

All of the equipment was stolen from unlocked rooms, except for the laptop computer, Whitescarver wrote. Most of the doors to the radio station facilities have punch combination locks.

The Dartmouth, the College's student-run daily newspaper, had about $700 of camera equipment -- including three lenses and one camera body -- stolen from a locked darkroom in early September, according to Justin Steinman '96, the president of The Dartmouth.

Graduate student Jim Tung, who was the paper's Summer-term photography editor, discovered the theft, Steinman said.

In early October, an $800 copier used by Jackson Construction was also stolen from the company's offices in the basement of Robinson Hall, Steinman said.

Officer Paulsen said the fact that Robinson Hall is open 24 hours a day with minimal security could have contributed to the thefts.

Steinman said the bottom locks on every door in Robinson Hall can be opened with a Robinson Hall master-key. He said the Dartmouth Outing Club, which moved out Robinson Hall last summer, has these master-keys and has passed them down over the years.

"With these keys you can get into any room," Steinman said. "There are probably 10 or 15 of them and who knows how many of them are circulating around."

Steinman said he thought other students on campus may have the keys as well.

In response to the thefts, Steinman said The Dartmouth placed deadbolts on all of its outer doors. He said the deadbolts are not on the Robinson key system.

The copier and the radio station equipment were stolen from rooms with doors lacking deadbolts, Steinman said.

Whitescarver wrote that "the honor code applies in all of our facilities and we have many station members in and out 24 hours a day."

She also wrote that Dartmouth Broadcasting facilities are used primarily by students, some employees and faculty -- and also by some non-Dartmouth station members and employees.

"Many times something missing turns up two days later from someone using it and not returning it on time or failing to sign things out, " she wrote.

Disc Jockey Philip Cheung '97 said the radio station is trying to cut down on traffic.

"Some people just show up out of nowhere and we suspect these people have always taken CDs," he said.

"But with the more expensive equipment, it could be people outside of the station whether students, construction workers, or high school students. It could be anyone," Cheung said.