On Wednesday afternoon, LSUPD arrested Sean Michael Bennett, 24, for a string of laptop thefts in Middleton Library over the past two weeks.
After receiving several complaints beginning Sept. 15, LSUPD set up a plainclothes operation in Middleton to stem the thefts.
According to the online crime log, LSUPD responded to reports of thefts in Middleton on Sept. 15, 21, 22, 24 and 29 in addition to the Sept. 30 incident, which resulted in an arrest. At least three incidents took place on the third floor.
Plainclothes police officers, stationed on the third floor of Middleton around 2 p.m. Sept. 30, observed Bennett take an Apple MacBook Air. He attempted to conceal it and leave the library, police said.
After police detained and questioned him, Bennett admitted to taking six laptops on six different occasions from Middleton, LSUPD spokesperson Capt. Cory Lalonde said.
Bennett was charged with six counts of felony theft and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
Upon identifying Bennett, LSUPD found they had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for possession of stolen property in connection with a bicycle theft on campus earlier this year.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office also had two warrants out for his arrest — one for misdemeanor theft of goods and another for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bennett is being held on a $10,000 bond.
LSU Libraries and LSUPD are encouraging students to stay vigilant even though the suspect has been caught.
“While we saw an arrest in this incident and we had a good outcome,” Lalonde said, “we don’t want people to become complacent and think that these type of things can’t still happen in the future.”
LSU Libraries noted 30 incidents of unattended personal belongings in the library on Wednesday, according to their Facebook page.
“We do see them from time to time, and we urge everyone on LSU’s campus to always be very vigilant with the security of their personal property,” Lalonde said. “As well as not hesitate to let us know if they see anything suspicious.”