Public Safety Catches Crooks

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Public Safety officer Bob Stephano was making his regular rounds last Sunday when he stumbled upon a crime-in-progress: he observed four suspects gathered at the back of the stage in the Lang Performing Arts Center.

Quietly moving around to the main door to the building, Officer Stephano intercepted the individuals. While the suspects claimed to be Swarthmore College students, they offered false ID cards and Officer Stephano noticed cables trailing from a laptop case carried by one of the four males, aged 18-25.

“When he saw the cables, he called for Public Safety and Officer Dominick Martino and the police arrived,” said Director of Public Safety Owen Redgrave. Redgrave believes that LPAC was open, which allowed the four to enter without triggering alarms.

Upon further investigation, three sound cables from LPAC were found in the bag, and the man with carrying the cables admitted to theft. His cohorts were charged with disorderly conduct.

While none of the suspects were Swarthmore residents, they all lived within a fifteen minute drive of the College.


  1. 0
    anonymous says:

    On the other hand, everyone seems to be getting offended that someone is offended by the use of the word crook – seems to me that we’re so obsessive about being PC that even being PC isn’t acceptable.

  2. 0
    Urooj Khan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think what’s interesting to note about this “debate” here is that only one person thought ‘crook’ was offensive, while everyone else seems to be taken aback that we’re even discussing this. I think it’s a testament to the fact that most of Swarthmore isn’t as obsessive about being PC as it’s made out to be by students.

  3. 0
    nuts. says:

    offended, are you actually serious?
    a. Miles is right– crooks does not imply a serious defect… but
    b. If these people gathered together to enter private property with fake IDs, and clear intent to steal valuable property (we’re not talking a pack of gum at the co-op), I think that DOES imply a defect.

    This the kind of BS PC that landed us in the absurd kick-coke campaign– taking a righteous moral stand on quicksand, for no good reason.

    Shout out to the DG.

  4. 0
    Kiyotaka says:

    Hey Miles,

    I know that offended will continue to be offended, (by nature of their SN), but maybe they were referring to “crook” in this manner, which, although it would be a misunderstanding on their part, could be construed as mildly offensive.


    “8. Crook: To pull your ball sack over your shoulder to appear as if you are carrying something you stole in a sack.”

  5. 0
    Miles Skorpen ( User Karma: 6 ) says:


    I just checked the dictionary. There are two possible definitions, neither of which involves any kind of “defect.” I’m not quite sure I have any idea what definition of “crook” you are referring to, since I can see using it as a bend—”crook in the his arm,” or its informal defintion, “a person who is dishonest or a criminal,” and neither of these definitions connote a “major defect.”

    If you search Google, you’ll note the word is commonly used in large publications and media outlets, including ABC, and even the earlier this month.

  6. 0
    offended says:

    The term “crook” also connotes a major defect. We’ve all made mistakes and poor decisions in our lives, and I sure as hell wouldn’t appreciate being understood as a defective person simply because I made a string of stupid mistakes that I might regret in the future. We can’t be offended by everything, but we can pick and choose our battles. A responsible journalistic publisher would never even consider using the word “crook.”

  7. 0
    a says:

    the term “crooks” may be a liiittle idiosyncratic, yes, and perhaps something like “thieves” or “burglars” might have been less conspicuous, but that doesn’t make the term irresponsible nor offensive, as far as i can tell. the fact is, these four men were caught in the act of stealing, in a seemingly premeditated way, and they lied to the PS officer about their identities.. not sure “crooks” is entirely out of line.

  8. 0
    re: offended says:

    crook: someone who has committed a crime or has been legally convicted of a crime [syn: criminal]

    The first would seem to apply here. Theft is a crime. Heaven forbid that the Daily Gazette attempt a catchy/semi-alliterated title.

  9. 0
    another student ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    i happen to know both that the back door to the Frear theater has been open for the past few evenings to cool down the space (which has been unusually warm) and that there have been sound cables lying around the Frear theater of late.

  10. 0
    offended says:

    Calling these individuals “crooks” is irresponsible and offensive. I hope that the Gazette considers using a more appropriate term in the future for individuals who make poor decisions that detrimentally affect others around them.

  11. 0
    re: concerned student says:

    Unlikely. It’s probable the other thiefs weren’t students either, and the solved thefts over the past few years have not been students, but they haven’t ever taken such rash action.

  12. 0
    unconcerned says:

    Or maybe it will lead to a declaration of martial law, and Public Safety will start driving APCs and wearing jackboots! Wouldn’t that be exciting.

  13. 0
    Miles Skorpen ( User Karma: 6 ) says:

    Public Safety has no information linking these thefts to the previous ones in the library. More importantly, there have been no thefts in the library (apart from the monitor, which PS believes was done by a different individual) for nearly three weeks.

    If and when the Gazette has more information, we’ll publish it.

  14. 0
    harrison says:

    a real source of journalism might have indicated whether these thefts had any connection to the previous thefts it’s been reporting about every single day for three weeks.

Leave a Reply to harrison Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *