Smart Cookie stops brazen Sterling laptop thief

Library laptop thieves beware: Cookie’s on guard.

Yale police arrested a man Monday night shortly after he tried to sneak a student’s laptop past Sterling Memorial Library guards by hiding it in the small of his back.

After receiving a call from Cross Campus Library advising her of the theft of a laptop there, library guard Cookie LiPuma spotted a man with with a suspicious bulge under the back of his jacket as he left the library at about 9:45 p.m.

LiPuma said she questioned him about the bulge, but he remained “cool as a cucumber,” expressing outrage over being stopped and claiming to be affiliated with the University.

“He was articulate and was trying to hopefully just smooth his way on out,” LiPuma said.

LiPuma followed the man out the door and towards Wall Street and saw him enter the Yale Law School. She said she heard a noise from a gate as he turned the corner and thought he might have “ditched” the laptop in the area.

Shortly afterwards, Yale police officers arrived and searched the area.

But it was LiPuma who spotted the computer hidden under the gate.

Minutes later, a Yale police officer stopped a man near Wall and College streets and brought LiPuma to identify him. She was able to confirm it was the same man, she said, despite the fact that he had turned his reversible jacket inside out and removed his glasses after she lost sight of him.

Police arrested Leroy Kelly, 34, of Ridge Street, and charged him with third-degree burglary, larceny and second-degree trespassing. Kelly has been involved in previous incidents of theft at Yale, University Police Chief James Perrotti said.

The student left the laptop unattended for only a few minutes before LiPuma saw Kelly leaving with it, police said. Another library guard expressed amazement that LiPuma noticed such a minor detail as a bulge in a man’s jacket.

Perrotti said the incident should serve as a reminder that students must safeguard their possessions, even if they only intend to leave the room briefly.

“It’s very easy for someone to get into the library and take your laptop,” he said. “You really can’t leave them unattended.”

In fact, just because police arrested someone and recovered the computer does not mean the student will get it back anytime soon. Perrotti said the laptop may have to be kept as evidence until Kelly’s court proceedings are resolved.

Still, LiPuma said she was happy to help out.

“I was thankful to think that I got it back,” she said.



A dog with an attitude

Some dogs just don’t like British art.

A dog tied to a trash can outside of the Yale Center for Brtish Art bit a schoolchild and a police officer while its owner remained inside Atticus last Thursday, police said.

The child, who police said was traveling to the gallery with a school group, had been bitten on the finger after he got too close to the dog, which had about two feet of slack on its leash.

The dog also “lunged” at a Yale police sergeant who responded to the scene and bit him on the shin, leaving a small laceration.

Neither bite was serious, and the child received medical attention from paramedics on the scene.

The owner, who had been inside Atticus the whole time, emerged shortly afterwards.

“The owner said she left the dog there while she went inside and that she didn’t think it was vicious,” Perrotti said.

Police charged the woman with two infractions of the city leash ordinance. The dog was impounded by animal control and quarantined.



A man with an attitude and his “dog”

Come on, buddy, the pizza can’t be that bad.

Police arrested a man for exposing himself and urinating on the door of 21 Broadway, the newly opened pizza place, Saturday night.

Officers noticed the man shortly after midnight as he relieved himself on the front door of the open restaurant.

He then turned and exposed himself to the passing pedestrians, Perrotti said, before saying some “not-so-flattering” words to the officers.

Police arrested Matthew Quiello, 19, of Bethany.

Quiello had apparently left Toad’s Place on York Street shortly before the incident, police said.

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