sealPurdue News

January 22, 2003

Purdue police seek man for attempted computer theft

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University police are seeking a man for questioning following the attempted theft of a computer from the Wetherill Chemistry Building late Monday (1/20). Police also are investigating another computer theft from the Krannert Center for Executive Education and Research earlier the same day.

Police are seeking a black male, approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 20-25 years old, of medium build, from 150-180 pounds, who was wearing a black leather coat with a Boilermaker Express logo on the back.

The suspect was seen leaving the southwest corner of Wetherill Chemistry Building by Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) personnel who arrived between 10:30-11 p.m. in response to an alarm that indicated a computer in Room 172 had gone off-line. The witnesses saw the man running from the room as they arrived and chased him as he ran toward Stewart Center.

Police and ITaP personnel returned to the room and discovered a computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse missing. The equipment was subsequently discovered stacked inside a green Purdue recycling bin located in the middle of the room.

"Based on our investigation, we believe the suspect put the computer in the bin and was going to wheel it away, probably to a nearby car," said Ron Fosnaugh, Purdue police captain of special services.

The witnesses provided a description of the suspect that police used to produce a computer- generated composite likeness that was distributed to area police departments.

On Tuesday (1/21) police investigated the theft of a Micron Pentium II computer valued at $300 from Krannert Center for Executive Education and Research, Room 128. Police said a network server showed the computer was disconnected at approximately 12:10 p.m. on Monday (1/20).

Fosnaugh said investigators will determine whether the two thefts are related.

Anyone with information on either incident should contact Purdue police at (765) 494-8221.

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Ron Fosnaugh, (765) 494-8221,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A police computer-generated composite of the suspect wanted for questioning in the attempted computer theft case is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page