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November 15, 2017

Mail stolen from Brown Hall

(Collegian File Photo)

A string of mailbox thefts from Brown Hall are being investigated by the University of Massachusetts Police Department, according to deputy director of News and Media Relations Mary Dettloff.

In an email, Dettloff said seven students have reported personal mail removed from their mailboxes in the Sylvan Residential Area.

“UMass Police say the culprit is removing the Plexiglas cover on the outside of the mailbox and removing the mail, including birthday cards and other personal mail containing a range of checks or cash,” Dettloff said.

On Nov. 9, Mike Maberry, the residence hall service manager, sent an email to student living in Brown Hall to inform students of “an isolated incident of mail theft and vandalism of mailboxes.”

Included in the email were also tips to avoid future thefts, including “Always shut and re-lock your mailbox after retrieving your mail,” “Send valuable items (cards with money, checks, etc.) that would normally go to your mailbox as a package” and “Be an active bystander. If you see something, say something.”

“Our staff treats your mail with the highest importance and has taken further action to prevent and discourage these types of incidents,” Maberry wrote.

The email concludes by asking for the residential community’s support to prevent future crimes by contacting the Residential Life Student Services office with any concerns or questions.

Kimberly Miller, a sociology junior and resident of Brown became aware of the thefts when the email was sent out.

“I think it is unfortunate, but I understand thefts happen,” Miller said. “I feel like the University is really good at keeping up with crime alerts and whatnot. I trust them to investigate it.”

Computer science junior Spencer Jacob is also a resident of Brown and was surprised by the string of recent thefts.

“I thought it was secure, but it turns out it’s not,” Jacob said.

As a student who regularly receives mail, Jacob is going to check his mailbox actively and hopes to learn more about what the University is doing to prevent further thefts.

Michaela Hillier, a psychology junior was unaware of the thefts, despite living in Brown Hall.

“I guess it is pretty wrong,” Hillier said. As a student who doesn’t receive mail often, she feels it won’t affect her.

It is believed to not be a campus-wide issue. The investigation remains ongoing.


Abigail Charpentier can be reached at and followed on Twitter @abigailcharp.

One Response to “Mail stolen from Brown Hall”
  1. Ed Cutting, Ed. D. says:

    Three words: Credit Card Fraud.

    It’s happened before and if I lived in Brown, I’d check my credit file.

    But what about all the cameras? They don’t have footage of someone dismantling the mailbox?!?

    And UMass can’t glue the plexiglass in, or otherwise secure the mailboxes, or replace them????

    Anyone asked the Postal Inspectors what they think of this????
    Hint, they won’t be happy….

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