Police took into custody a 59-year-old Belcamp man who is accused of stealing a computer from a Towson University student. The theft occurred at an Aberdeen library where police say that the man followed the student prior to luring him away from the computer. Police officials say that they retrieved video surveillance tapes from the library and were able to see what occurred. They then printed photos of the accused man for distribution.
The computer contained personal files as well as the school work of the student, but the report does not state whether the computer was recovered or not. The item is valued at approximately $4,500, which qualifies as a felony offense in Maryland. The series of events up to the time of the theft has not been revealed by law enforcement officials.
According to the report, the student whose computer was stolen has cerebral palsy and is considered legally blind, and police records do not indicate if the student was able to give a description of the person who allegedly took the computer. It is also not clear whether he saw the alleged crime actually take place or if there were other witnesses. Citizens contacted police to identify the man who was captured on camera.
The man was charged with one count of theft, but the fact that the student is unable to see clearly could be used in combating the charges, as could the fact that the computer was not reported to have been found at the man's residence. Photos from a video source are often unclear and, therefore, may not be admissible as evidence in the case. In that case, the tip that led the police to the man may also not be valid.
Source: General Assembly of Maryland, "Article - Criminal Law - Section 7-104"
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Arrest made in theft of college student's computer from Aberdeen library", November 29, 2013