Moore lab remains closed after break-in

The computer lab located in Moore Hall's fourth floor lounge - the scene of a recent larceny - will remain closed until a replacement door can be installed.

A member of the custodial crew reported to Central Michigan University Police on March 4 that someone broke into the lab and stole two computers and two flat-panel display monitors.

Police are offering a $250 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the individual who stole the computers, which combined were worth an estimated $10,000.

"They were brand new," said Maria Marron, chairwoman of the Journalism Department. "We purchased them last August. They had all the latest software."

Cindy Gall, executive secretary for the journalism department, said everything was intact when she locked the lab at 5 p.m. on March 3. Because students were on spring break, Gall did not open the lab on March 4, she said.

Gall initially thought someone used a key to break into the lab because the door was not damaged, but later said she found a screw sticking out of the casing on the lock.

"We're thinking that someone removed the glass and got in that way," Gall said.

Police said the break-in occurred between the time when Gall locked the lab on March 3 and the evening of March 4.

The lab now contains only three computers and three flat-panel display monitors after last week's break-in. Gall said whoever stole the computers appeared to try to get away with more.

"The other two computers were unhooked," she said. "They were looking to steal more, but they must have been spoofed."

The computers were insured, but Marron said it is uncertain as to when they will be replaced.

While the lab remains closed, the staff of Grand Central Magazine is trying to figure out how it will update its Web site.

Grand Central uses the lab to edit its stories, said Ben LaMothe, editor-in-chief of the online publication.

LaMothe, who has a key to the lab, was contacted by police around 10 a.m. on March 5 while he was vacationing in Florida.

"It's putting a pretty good size wrench in our system," said LaMothe, who helps edit stories every Tuesday night in preparation for Thursday's Web posts. "We are going to have to figure out a new place. We might have to go into Woldt or Wightman (halls)."

The Bloomfield Hills senior said he does not believe a student broke in to the lab, but rather someone who knew when the custodial crew would be making their rounds.

"They had to have known how that room worked . and had it staked out for awhile," he said.


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