Police blotter for the week of Monday, March 10

Marijuana:

On Monday, March 10, a student at Benedict College was referred to the university for marijuana.

On Wednesday, March 12, two students were referred to the University after a RA reported they were smoking marijuana in their room in Lauterbur.

On Sunday, March 23, one student at Whitman College was referred to the university for marijuana.

On Sunday, March 23, four referrals were issued to students at Irving College for marijuana.

 Theft:

On Tuesday, March 11 and Friday, March 14, bikes were reported stolen.

On Saturday, March 15, there was larceny at the LIRR station.

Three previous reports of larceny at Administration were reported on Monday, March 17.

On Wednesday, March 19, an iPad was reported as lost property from State Hospital.

On Wednesday, March 19, there was a report of attempted burglary at O’Neill College. The complainant reported that they heard noises and observed an unknown male attempting to gain entry into the room.

On Wednesday, March 19, there was a report of a stolen poster from a bulletin board at the Health Science Center.

On Wednesday, March 19, there was a larceny at the University Hospital.

On Sunday, March 23, a camera, sunglasses and other items were reported missing from West Apartments B.

 Criminal Tampering:

On Friday, March 14, there was criminal tampering at the Old H Lot.

On Thursday, March 19, there was criminal tampering with a fire alarm at West Apartments E.  Two individuals were referred to the university.

On Friday, March 21, there was a false fire alarm at the math tower.

 Miscellaneous:

On Thursday, March 13, there was criminal mischief at the Health Science Center.

On Friday, March 14, there was harassment at Benedict College.

On Friday, March 14, two males were involved in a physical altercation at Irving College. There was an arrest.

On Saturday, March 15, police responded to a report that numerous individuals were in the hallway at James College under the influence.

On Tuesday, March 18, a complainant reported to police that he received calls from “24 Techno Care.” The case is closed.

On Tuesday, March 18, a quad director stated that there was a possible knife in Hand College brought by a student’s parents.

On Wednesday, March 19, there was a pursuit of a dark blue pick up truck with a covered license plate at Roosevelt and Circle Drive.

On Friday, March 21, a screen was reported broken at Dewey College.

On Sunday, March 23, there was an arrest near Hamilton College on Circle Road for menacing.

On Sunday, March 23, a complainant reported that their passenger side door mirror was broken and hanging by the wire.

Police Blotter for the week of Sept. 2, 2013

On Thursday, Sept. 5, a forged check with President Stanley’s signature was reported from the Research and Development campus.
On Friday, Sept. 6, another forged check was reported from the Central Services Building. Both cases are still open.

On Friday, Sept. 6, an RA at Gray College called University Police about marijuana in the building. This report was unfounded.

On Friday, Sept. 6, a male resident student was referred to the university by police for marijuana usage.

On Friday, Sept. 6, police responded to the O’Neill College parking lot after receiving a report that an individual was smoking in a car. The individual was gone when police arrived.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, a male student was referred to the university by police for harassment at the Campus Recreation Center. The complainant, who works at the center, was spat on by the male commuter student after he was asked to leave the track area because the Rec Center was closing.

On Sunday, Sept. 8 at 12:58 a.m., five people with no affiliation to the university were arrested for rioting at an African Student Union party at the Student Activities Center Ballroom A.

On Sunday, Sept. 8 a male commuter student was arrested and referred to the university by police. The student, who was dressed in all black, was in the area of the bus stop and then entered a wooded area. According to police, he had no legitimate purpose to be on campus.

On Sun., Sept. 8, an exit sign was ripped down from the ceiling at Eisenhower College. The case is still open.

SBU police officer strikes pedestrian with patrol car

A Stony Brook Police Department cruiser is removed from a ditch near the Tabler Residence Quad after an officer struck a female student on the sidewalk. (ANUSHA MOOKERJEE / THE STATESMAN)

A Stony Brook Police Department cruiser is removed from a ditch near the Tabler Residence Quad after an officer struck a female student on the sidewalk. (ANUSHA MOOKERJEE / THE STATESMAN)

A University Police car struck Stony Brook student Brianna Bifone on the sidewalk near the Tabler West Bus Stop on Circle Road at 10:12 p.m. on Thursday while responding to an emergency call, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

The car continued into an embankment, pinning Bifone beneath the rear of the vehicle.

“According to eyewitness reports, the responding vehicle was traveling with its emergency lights activated when it struck a sidewalk which caused it to veer onto the opposite walkway, subsequently striking the student pedestrian,” Chief of Police Robert Lenahan said in a statement.

Daniel Wolbrom, chief of Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps (SBVAC), said Bifone’s legs were pinned beneath the car for about 30 minutes before she was extricated and moved to an ambulance.

Both Bifone and the police officer were taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for evaluation.

Bifone is reported to be in fair condition, while the police officer, who sustained minor injuries, was treated and released from the hospital, Lenahan said.

The identity of the police officer has yet to be released.

The police officer was responding to a call regarding a “large group” at the Student Union when he struck the student, Assistant Chief of Police Lawrence Zacarese said.

The accident is currently under investigation, but Zacarese said there was no reason to believe the police officer was under the influence at the time of the incident.

The police officer radioed for assistance and emergency vehicles from University Police, Stony Brook Fire Department, Setauket Fire Department, SBVAC and Suffolk County Police Department arrived on the scene.

Check back for updates to the story.

Police Blotter

Police Blotter for 3/28-4/5

 

Monday, March 28

University police officers and detectives respond to a report of burglary in Hendrix College. A network switch was removed from a locked room. The investigation is still open.

 

Tuesday, March 29

A light fixture was smashed in the Melville Library. The investigation is now closed.

 

University police officers responded to a marijuana call in Greeley College but it was unfound upon arrival.

 

Vandalism to a bicycle in the South Parking Lot was reported.

 

There was a Vehicle and Traffic Law summons issued on West Drive by the West Apartments.

 

Two referrals were issued for marijuana on West Drive by the West Apartments.

 

Wednesday, March 30

University police officers and supervision respond to the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program to arrest a prior patient because of criminal mischief.

 

A complainant could not locate his green 1997 Honda Civic in the South Parking Lot.

 

A university police officer detected an odor of marijuana coming from a room in Stimson College.

 

Thursday, March 31

University police officers responded to a report of attempted larceny in the gift shop in the University Hospital. The investigation is still open.

 

Friday, April 1

A smell of marijuana was reported in Wagner College.

 

An intoxicated male in Langmuir College was transported to the University Hospital by the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

 

There was a report of marijuana possession in Langmuir College.

 

Saturday, April 2

There was a report of possession of prescription drugs and marijuana in the Tabler Arts Center.

 

Monday, April 4

A student was found in possession of marijuana in Toscaninni College.

 

Five referrals were issued for possession of marijuana in Wagner College.

 

Wednesday, April 5

There was a report of a broken window in the University Café in the Student Union.

 

There was an act of criminal mischief on the fifth floor of the Melville Library in the southeast corner.

 

There was a complaint in Irving College that someone smelled marijuana coming from a room.

Police Tighten Grip on Honda Civic Thefts

Honda Civics appear to be the vehicle of choice for thieves. Stony Brook University, SUNY at Farmingdale and Suffolk County Community College have all had Honda Civics stolen from their campus parking lots this semester. The university police have discovered that these thefts are part of a countywide vehicle theft pattern.

 

Robert Lenahan, chief of the university police, said that Honda Civics are targeted because they are easy and quick to steal. He said that the department has discovered that the vehicles were stolen so that the suspects could remove the parts from the vehicles and use them on their own vehicles or to sell them to others.

 

A “Hot Wheels” report released in July 2008 by the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that the 1995 Honda Civic is stolen more often than any other car in America. This is becoming evident after four early model Honda Civics were stolen from the university parking lots this semester.

 

Robert Oswald, the commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department, said that Hondas Civics have been continuously stolen in Suffolk County for about 10 to 15 years. He said that these were the primary concentration of the auto squad in Suffolk County. They would break up car theft rings where people would steal Honda Civics and soup-up their own cars with the stolen parts.

 

The thieves target railroad station, mall and college campus parking lots because they are large. Oswald said that the schools were targeted over the winter because the piles of snow that were pushed in the middle and the corners of the parking lots affected visibility.

 

“They had the cover of the snow piles and they didn’t feel like they were out in the open so much,” Oswald said.

 

The recent thefts have Stony Brook students who own Honda Civics worried.

 

When asked how he felt after he heard about the thefts, Christopher Lang, a commuter student who owns a Honda Civic, said he was “a tiny bit nervous, but I’ve heard about lots of car thefts since I came here eons ago. You just have to hope chances are in your favor.”

 

Lenahan said that the police department has increased their patrols —including uniform and plain clothed officers — in campus parking lots to prevent any more thefts. There have not been any recent reports of stolen vehicles since the department beefed up its patrols.

 

Though there are no more snow piles and the university police have stepped up their patrols, there is still a chance that the theft will continue. Oswald suggested that those who park in the lots should not leave anything valuable in their cars, park by a light pole if they are parking at night and to not park in the far end of the lot where their car is more secluded.

 

The auto thefts section of the police department has been successful over the last decade and Oswald is hopeful that the success will continue. One way of doing so is by examining cars that have been caught during a drag race. Cars have vehicle identification numbers on every part that are unique to each car. The squad impounds the cars and can tell if they are stolen by looking at the VIN numbers.

 

The auto thefts section has had success in catching the thieves in the past but it is still an ongoing issue.

“You bust one and another one pops up because it’s like a subculture of these groups of people that have Hondas and race them illegally,” Oswald said.

Walter’s Tagging Spree Comes to an End

A surveillance camera captured footage of Riker entering the Social and Behavioral Sciences building on Oct. 30.

Since spring 2010, red striped United States Postal Service priority mail stickers have been ubiquitous on campus—they were plastered throughout the academic mall in buildings, on trash receptacles, light poles and even wasp catchers by a mysterious figure known only as “Walter.” However, the long search for the person behind the tags came to an end earlier this month after wake of the arrest of 20-year-old Jesse Jay Riker, a commuter student living in Stony Brook Village.

After an investigation beginning in spring of this year that included review of surveillance photos and interviews with campus personnel, Riker, originally from Miller Place, N.Y., was apprehended and arrested by University police near the Student Activity Center bus loop at approximately 9 a.m. on Dec. 1 after he was seen placing a tag.

“We had an incident in the Social and Behavioral Sciences building on Oct. 30,” said Deputy Police Chief Neil Farrell, referring to a security camera that managed to capture photos of Riker entering the building that Saturday afternoon, when marker tags were put up in the building. “From this, we were able to narrow it [the investigation] down from factors such as when and where the tags were placed.”

“He could have been any one of 26,000 students,” Farrell added.

One of "Walter's tags located in the Physics building. (Photo Credit: whoiswalter.blogspot.com)

Riker was then surrendered to Suffolk County police, who moved him to Suffolk County Criminal court where he will be arraigned on charges that include possession of graffiti instruments and criminal mischief in the 3rd degree—a class E felony in New York state that carries with it a jail sentence of at least three years. However, according to Chief of University Police Robert J. Lenahan, Riker will likely serve a reduced sentence of one year, but no more than 18 months if convicted on the most serious charge.

“In a lot of cases, depending on the severity of the crime, there are negotiations in which a sentence can be reduced if the accused pleads guilty,” Farrell said, who also noted that the chances of a perpetrator receiving the full three years for this offense were slim and also affected by the accused’s criminal background, if any.

Instead, it is more likely that he will face punishment from the university through the “offenses against property” clause of the University Student Conduct Code, which states that “any costs to repair, replace, restore, or clean University property to its original condition will be assessed to individuals and/or groups responsible for damaging, or defacing such property in addition to any sanctions which may be imposed.”

According to Farrell, probation is usually the outcome of cases such as this one because the university “usually wants to recuperate from time and money spent in clean-up.”

A tag outside of Javits Lecture Center. (Photo Credit: whoiswalter.blogspot.com)

An example of this is the case of graffiti tagger MESKA, who was arrested on Mar. 30, 2010. MESKA, whose real name was withheld by campus police for privacy reasons, received probation and was forced to pay restitution to the university. However, according to Farrell, “significant amounts of graffiti” on the scale of Walter’s and MESKA’s exploits are uncommon on campus.

“Cases the size of MESKA’s and Walter’s are unusual,” Farrell said. “Most other graffiti incidents are usually isolated.”

In a press release issued on Monday, Dec. 6, Lenahan attributed the investigation’s success in part to “valuable information provided by members of the campus community,” which included students and faculty.

One of "Walter's" earlier tags found in Staller. (Photo Credit: whoiswalter.blogspot.com)

“As you could see from comments on the blog [http://whoiswalter.blogspot.com] and on tags themselves, students and faculty seemed to be against the tagging,” Farrell said. When asked whether the blog was an aid to the investigation, he replied that it was not, but conceded that “it wasn’t a deterrent, either.” Instead, it served as a glimpse into just how widespread the tagging had become.

“It doesn’t make for a nice campus when there are graffiti tags all over,” Farrell said. “We feel a sense of satisfaction in finding who’s behind it.”

Attempts were made to contact Riker, but he declined to comment.

Stony Brook Police Nab Car Thieves

Two men allegedly responsible for the rash of recent car break-ins at SBU were apprehended on March 13 by the Stony Brook Police Department.

Carlos Benetiz and Nelson Majia, both non-students and residing in Central Islip, were arrested by Officer Joseph Bica at 2:00 pm near Tabler Quad after a routine vehicle and traffic stop.

According to Deputy Chief Doug Little, it was discovered that their car did not have proper license plates. A search of the vehicle was then conducted,

and stolen property was found in the trunk, including stereos, radios, and other equipment.

The two men have been indicted on a felony charge of criminal mischief, and also on misdemeanor charges of petty larceny, possession of stolen property, and possession of burglar tools. The investigation also discovered that Benetiz and Majia have allegedly been breaking into cars at Suffolk Community College and Farmingdale as well.

The increase in car thefts had convinced University Police to increase their surveillance in parking lots around campus. Plain clothes officers and a more extensive patrol presence had been monitoring the situation for some time. Chief Little praised his officer for a job well done.

‘The entire department is very proud of Officer Bica,’ Little said.

‘He did an outstanding job and made a good arrest. We commend him on his excellent police work.’

The two men are currently awaiting trial. If convicted, they could face jail

time.