[Updated] Couple arrested in suspected connection with MacBook thefts

Campus Safety and the La Mirada Sheriff’s Department apprehended and arrested two people suspected to be involved with the recent MacBook thefts. One of the pair was a Biola student.


Elizabeth Sallie, Writer

Updated 11:40 a.m., Thursday December 1:

Two suspects were arrested by the La Mirada Sheriff’s Department early Wednesday afternoon in connection with the recent on-campus MacBook thefts, according to Campus Safety chief John Ojeisekhoba.

The couple are accused of working together to enter dorms and other places on campus in order to steal laptops. The female suspect, a Biola student, is accused of allowing a non-Biolan male to access these places, Ojeisekhoba said.

Ojeisekhoba declined to identify the couple at this time, due to the “fresh” nature of the investigation. The Chimes intends to pursue the identity of the suspects in the coming days.

When the investigation began in early October soon after laptops began vanishing around campus, Campus Safety had few leads to follow.

“I sat down with my team and said we don’t have much evidence here right now, but let’s give it a shot,” Ojeisekhoba said.

During the investigation, the pair became suspects. Campus Safety has been working with the La Mirada Sheriff’s Department to apprehend the couple, but the female suspect has not been present on campus for a few weeks, according to Ojeisekhoba.

On Wednesday, Campus Safety stumbled upon the suspects together less than a half-mile from campus. As the new Campus Safety Bike Patrol continued their training program at Fountain of Life Church on Biola Avenue, 10 officers discovered the pair outside the church. Though Campus Safety does not have jurisdiction off campus, officers are permitted to detain suspects, which they did while the sheriff’s department was summoned to arrest the couple. The investigation will be carried on by the sheriff’s department from this point forward.

Over the past month and a half, a total of nine MacBooks have disappeared. The most recent theft occurred Monday, Nov. 28, when two unattended MacBooks were taken from the Library within five minutes of each other. Chief Ojeisekhoba did not officially comment on the current state of the stolen laptops.

Since the value of MacBooks amounts to more than $950 — the threshold for grand theft in the state of California — the thefts mean felony counts. The minimal value of the stolen laptops amounts to more than $8,500.

Though the arrests mark a significant step in the investigation of the thefts, the chief mentioned that the arrests themselves were not reason for celebration.

“We’re glad we stopped this with this group, with these two. But there’s no high fives here,” Ojeisekhoba said.

The chief remarked on both the sadness of a Biola student’s arrest and that the arrested couple may not be the only group on campus interested in crime. As a result, he and his team remain alert to the possibility of more thefts on campus.

“I told my officers we need to continue to do whatever we can to be proactive out there,” he said.

Ojeisekhoba urged students to continue to be aware of potential for crime as well. Campus Safety sent out two emails about the need to protect belongings.

“Yesterday, at the library, after all the [emails] we put out, we found no less than six laptops unattended to,” he said.

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