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This item originally appeared in the March 25, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

A former student and a Ruston resident were arrested as a result of burglary investigations led by Tech Police.

Kermit Givens, an 18-year-old of Kenner, was arrested March 7 in connection with a series of burglaries in Caruthers Residence Hall that began March 5.

Tech Police Chief Stephen Quinnelly said officers found sufficient evidence to charge Givens with four to five counts of burglary.

"At approximately 4:08 a.m. on March 7 we received reports of suspicious activity," Quinnelly said.

Quinnelly said officers Jody Hoenke, Beverly Thompson, Tim Holstead and Detective Tommy Craig investigated and developed enough evidence to arrest Givens.

Items taken from the rooms included DVDs, a computer, an Xbox, a microwave oven, a videocassette recorder and a toaster.

Givens, a former freshman basic and career studies major, was placed on suspension for his alleged crimes.

The second arrest was a result of seven on-campus office burglaries.

The burglaries sparked an investigation that ended with the March 16 arrest of Marcus D. Brown, a 34-year-old Ruston resident.

Quinnelly said Brown is under investigation for the burglaries of offices in Bogard Hall, Woodard Hall, Wyly Tower of Learning and A.E. Phillips Laboratory School.

Quinnelly also said the investigators on the case were officers Amanda White, Corporal Heather Goulart, Captain Raymond Merritt and Detective Tommy Craig.

"Brown was charged with seven counts of burglary for a total of $1,449 taken," Quinnelly said.

"I want to commend the officers who responded to and investigated both sets of burglaries," Quinnelly said. "They worked hard and did a very good, professional job."

Quinnelly said students and faculty should take safety precautions such as refraining from leaving purses or money in offices, utilizing the deadbolt locks in residence halls and securing items in the lockers at Maxie Lambright Intramural Sports Center with a high-security lock.

"We have a low crime rate, but we are not immune to crime," Quinnelly said. "By working together to report suspicious activity, utilizing locks and not leaving money in vulnerable locations, we can help reduce the vulnerability to crime."

Dr. Tony Young, department head and associate professor of psychology and behavioral sciences, said money was taken from his desk in his office March 3, but he was not able to report it until March 5.

"On Wednesday, I took the money to my office and I went back to get it on Thursday, but it was gone," Young said.

Young said he had never before encountered a crime on campus in the nearly four years he has worked here.

Galen Rockett, director of Judicial Affairs, said when a student commits a crime such as burglary on campus, it is normally handled in conjunction with the guidelines in the code of conduct.

"When a student violates a code of conduct, they are referred to the university's Behavior Standards Committee," Rockett said.

Rockett said after the student is found responsible for the violation, the committee has a number of options as far as sanctions are concerned.

"When the committee determines sanctions, it tries to be consistent when dealing with students by looking at similar past violations."

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