CCIT victim of largest campus computer robbery this year

By Tom Collins
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 2, 1996

Nearly $20,000 in computer equipment was stolen from the Center for Computer and Information Technology Thursday, in what is the largest single computer theft on campus so far this year.

Three Hewlett Packard Omni Book 5000 C computers valued at $2,300 each, seven Hewlett Packard hard drives valued at $500 each and an Apple-PC compatibility card valued at $900 were among the $19,987 worth of equipment taken, according to University of Arizona Police Department reports.

UAPD Detective Sgt. Sal Celi said the theft is larger than recent thefts from the Math building and the Steward Observatory.

The door to the office containing the equipment was forced open using an unknown object, reports stated. The theft occurred between 5 p.m. Thursday and 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Some of the equipment, including the compatibility card, was removed from the computer without damaging the machine's body, and other items of little value were left behind, according to police reports.

"They possibly had a laundry list that (said) they only wanted specific items," Celi said.

Burglaries that include forced entry are taken very seriously, Celi said.

"It's much more difficult for the community to protect itself from," Celi said.

CCIT, 1077 N. Highland Ave., is protected by security cameras, Celi said. He said tapes from those cameras are being reviewed.

University theft cases are tough to crack, Celi said, given the open nature of the campus, "It is very difficult to catch someone in the act."

Besides evidence, police rely on the community to help solve crimes.

"We look into every lead that's given to us," Celi said.

Anyone with information on this theft should call 621-UAPD.