Theft Occurs in Claverly Suite

Over $4,000 worth of goods stolen

Four-thousand-and-seventy-dollars worth of goods were stolen from a Claverly Hall common room last week while its occupants slept in adjoining bedrooms.

Suite 12, which is overflow housing for Lowell House, is on the second floor of Claverly and overlooks an alley.

The theft occurred sometime between 1:30 a.m. on Friday, after the room’s three occupants went to sleep, and 11:30 a.m. that day, when Steven T. Cupps ’09 noticed that his and one of his roommate’s laptops were missing.

They soon discovered that more than just laptops were gone: two digital cameras, an iPod and a cell phone had also disappeared.

Henrik G. Rummel ’09, one of the roommates, said that his parents’ insurance will cover a portion of his losses.

A third roommate, Michael R. Ragalie ’09 said he did not have any property stolen because his desk is in a bedroom next to the common room.

Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) officers arrived shortly after being contacted by the students.

HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano did not comment on the incident, citing that the investigation is ongoing.

Ragalie said the window was “obviously opened” and that he thought the intruder had entered the dorm by climbing over the grate from the street.

“We’re not sure if the window was locked or not, but the window was definitely closed so he must have pushed it up somehow,” he added.

Rummel estimated that the distance between the street and the windowsill is six feet, and that the top of the grate is another three feet higher.

Despite the missing items, the suite was not in more disarray than usual, according to Ragalie.

“It seemed like it was a pretty quick job, they just took the stuff and left,” he said.

Allston Burr Resident Dean of Lowell House Ryan M. Spoering said that the apparent theft is “not an uncommon occurrence when people leave their windows unlocked. It’s always just a risk.”

In an e-mail sent to Claverly residents, Lowell House tutor Joshua D. Goldman reminded students to close and lock doors and windows when they leave their suites or go to sleep, and to not leave valuables “in sight of windows that are somewhat close to the ground.”

“People just need to remember it’s important to be commonsensical in what they do,” Ragalie said, adding that he felt the incident had not significantly altered his life at Harvard.

“I’m more concerned that I know where my stuff is, but on the whole, I still definitely feel safe at Harvard,” he said. “I can still go about my day without worrying about bad people around every corner.”

Rummel adopted a similar perspective.

“I don’t feel less safe,” he said.

He added that though it was “kind of scary” that the theft occurred while he was sleeping, “it also makes it better to know that it could have been worse.”

—Staff writer Rebecca M. Anders can be reached at