Latest Rugby burglars target tech equipment

Chronicle Staff


By Emily Khaykin

A security guard surprised a man and a woman attempting to steal thousands of dollars worth of sound and light equipment from Rugby Auditorium earlier this month. The suspects jumped off the stage and fled with some equipment.

Upper school security is investigating the theft, the second from Rugby Auditorium this year. The first, which took place over winter break, resulted in the loss of an estimated $30,000 worth of sound and lighting equipment.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on April 12, security guard Mark Geiger was making his rounds through the campus when he heard sounds coming from Rugby. Geiger entered through the back door of Rugby, frightening the two suspects. Security was unable to find the two after an exhausting search of the campus, Head of Security Jim Crawford said. The suspects managed to take eight wireless microphone body packs, priced at about $1,000 to $1,500 apiece.

“They had stacked up various piles of equipment around the auditorium and looked like they were setting up to take them,” Performing Arts teacher Andrew Villaverde said. “But since they were interrupted, they were only able to take the smaller items they could carry.”

Security does not know how they got into Rugby.

“The gates to the school were locked, but there are many other ways to get into the school, like through the wash down by the north end of campus,” Geiger said.

Villaverde said the suspects could have walked in the main doors due to the age of some of the doors in Rugby.

“Several of these doors are really old,” Villaverde said. “Sometimes all you have to do to open them is yank hard enough.”

Geiger said that the school has talked about replacing some of the doors, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

“There used to be cameras in Rugby,” Geiger said. “But most of the time it was just too dark to see anything on the tape so they were taken out.”

Geiger believes that the suspects were homeless. He recounted descriptions of them to the authorities.