NIU hit by second wave of purse thefts

By Stewart Warren

Thieves swiped five more women’s handbags Monday and Tuesday during the second rash of February purse thefts at NIU.

Three of the purses were found Monday with only money missing, University Police Lt. Kathy Guimond said.

During the first wave of purse thefts, four handbags and a book bag were stolen from NIU east campus buildings Feb. 14. The book bag was found later.

One handbag was stolen Monday at about noon from an unlocked first floor Swen Parson office, Guimond said. The purse was found in Faraday Hall, Room 328, later that day, but $50 was gone from the wallet, Guimond said.

Another purse stolen from inside a book bag that was hidden under a Faraday Hall desk Monday also was recovered later in the day, Guimond said. Although police reports did not indicate where the handbag was found, $25 was missing from its wallet, she said.

A third purse stolen from under a desk in an unlocked Psychology-Mathematics Building office was located later in Anderson Hall, Guimond said. The $50 that had been in the wallet was gone, she said.

Two stolen handbags were not recovered, Guimond said. One purse stolen Monday night might have been taken from a car parked in the Huskie Bus turnaround near the Holmes Student Center, Guimond said. The victim told police that she had been several places Monday afternoon, and she did not know exactly when and where the $550 brown leather handbag and wallet were stolen, Guimond said.

The fifth purse was stolen Tuesday from an unlocked bottom desk drawer in Watson Hall, she said.

On-campus thefts can be prevented, Guimond said. “We encourage everybody to be alert to strangers in offices, people who wander in and appear lost,” Guimond said. “Everyone should also be aware that all personal items should be locked up at all times. It only takes a matter of seconds to steal something from an unattended area.”

There are no suspects in the thefts, Guimond said.