The University of Maryland Police have recently arrested a 20-year-old man and a 38-year-old man following an investigation into two separate incidents in late 2012 in which laptop computers were stolen on campus. The suspects now face theft charges and possible time in custody.
The first crime happened when a student left his laptop out in the open at a campus study area in November 2012. When he came back about 60 minutes later, the computer was missing. University Police identified the 20-year-old man as a suspect, but when confronted with evidence that involved him in the case, he denied that he knew about the theft. However, police took him into custody. The laptop was not recovered. He faces theft charges of between $1,000 and $10,000 and could receive a prison term of up to 10 years. He has a prior charge for possession of drug paraphernalia although it is unknown if he was convicted in that case.
In the other incident in December 2012 , another student left her dorm room unlocked during the day and returned to find two laptop computers stolen. Campus police identified the 38-year-old suspect and questioned him. One laptop was found, and he could not explain where he got the computer. The other laptop was not recovered. The subject faces charges for two counts of theft less than $1,000. He could be sentenced to 18 months in prison on each charge.
Police sometimes make arrests in cases of theft when they have not recovered the stolen property. In some situations, a criminal defense attorney might be able to question the evidence that connects a suspect to the alleged offense in order to weaken the prosecution’s case.
Source: The Diamondback, “Two arrested in connection with separate University of Maryland laptop theft incidents,” March 1, 2013