Police: Man arrested in connection with mail thefts was Northwestern employee

Shane McKeon, Assistant Campus Editor

The man arrested Tuesday in connection with thefts from campus mailrooms was a Northwestern contract employee, University Police said Thursday.

The Chicago man, 29, was contracted by the University for pest control, UP Deputy Chief Dan McAleer said.

McAleer said he believes the man is connected to more than 100 students’ reports of “missing or stolen mail.” The alleged thefts appear to date back as early as October 2014, he said.

The man was arrested Tuesday by UP after he was seen taking mail from a residence hall mailroom, McAleer said.

Police believe the man stole from at least two students’ rooms, a Kresge Hall office and residence hall mailrooms, which he was allowed into on multiple occasions.

The man was allowed into some students’ rooms for his job, McAleer said.

He faces 10 misdemeanor theft charges and five criminal trespassing charges.

After consulting with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, UP concluded the missing mail was reaching University mailrooms. Upon further investigation, it found the mail was not stolen from hubs at Foster-Walker Complex or Kemper Hall.

McAleer said UP searched the man’s work truck and, after securing a search warrant, his residence, finding missing items at both.

McAleer said NUPD may pursue felony burglary charges against the man, depending on evidence.

“I honestly believe if not all, most (student reports) will be connected to this based on the evidence we’ve collected already from his work truck and his home,” McAleer said.

McAleer said it’s too early to tell how many students will receive their stolen mail back.

The man is in custody at the Evanston Police Department. His bond hearing is 9 a.m. Friday at the District 2 courthouse in Skokie.

Police believe the man acted alone.

Paul Riel, executive director of Residential Services, notified students of the thefts and arrest Tuesday afternoon in an email.

Email: [email protected].edu
Twitter: @Shane_McKeon