Friday, November 15, 2013

In The Matter Of ...

Anyone who has ever lost precious personal items in a sudden catastrophe knows that hollow feeling of helplessness that washes over you, along with guilty thoughts of what maybe you could have done to prevent it. 

Last April a dozen UMass students working on end-of-the-semester projects, or maybe just blowing off steam playing games (or wasting time on the Internet) suddenly felt that sick empty feeling that comes with first realizing your computer has vanished.  Stolen.

 UMass Du Bois Library

A serial thief, Christopher Desjardin age 30,  had staked out the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, making it his personal hunting preserve.  With Mac laptops his BIG game. The perp would stalk students with Macs (a fairly ubiquitous prey) and wait for a moment of inattention.  Then simply grab and go. 

Unlike a stolen bike, car or television -- which insurance (or parents) can quickly replace -- a laptop has untold hours of irreplaceable work invested within its hard drive.  Thus the devastation is squared.

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Wednesday, Desjardin, with a public defender who cited his "remorse, guilt, shame", pled guilty to all 13 charges, 12 of them larceny over $250 and one for larceny under $250 (tools stolen from Amherst College).

The Du Bois Library only has one main point of entry, which is monitored by surveillance cameras, and after a thorough review UMPD narrowed down Desjardin as a suspect.  Plus another victim had given chase and was able to give police a description and identify him on surveillance tapes.

During a police stake out at the library he struck again, was followed by a UMPD officer to his car and quickly arrested red handed. 

Drugs played into his less than sophisticated methodology, as police recovered two hypodermic needles with heroin residue inside his vehicle. At least two of the expensive laptops were hawked at "Family Pawn Shop" in Springfield for a total of $550, well below Ebay potential. 

After reading all the charges Judge Poelher asked him "Are you pleading guilty because you are guilty?" to which he responded, barely above a whisper, "yes."

The prosecution had recommended a one year sentence in the House of Correction with 6 months served and 6 months suspended with mandatory "drug treatment." 

The Judge seemingly went beyond the prosecutor's request sentencing him on each charge to 18 months (rather than 12) six months served, twelve months suspended, two years probation, mandatory drug treatment, write a "letter of apology" to each victim and make restitution. 

But the sentences are all "concurrent" rather than front to back, meaning his total time served for all 13 sentences is only six months and even that could be reduced by the sheriff in charge at the jail. 

Not a lot of time considering all the heartache induced... and labor lost.


Anonymous said...

In China that would probably be a death sentence! F--- that guy.

Anonymous said...

He'll likely be stolen from in jail (his virginity).

Anonymous said...

apple laptop = 1000-3000 dollars
1 tb hard drive = 60-100 dollars
backing up data every night = 1-5 minutes

Sucks losing a computer, been there.
Why is the education on backing everything up, always, not more prevalent?

For the arguments that they are at the library not backing up - portable hard drives, google drive (available through umass), drop box, udrive , iCloud

Its awful to lose data. But in this day and age, if you lose more than the last 10-20 minutes, its on the person (or accident) who stole, as well as you for not backing it up.

I'm sorry for their losses, but education on data safety, recovery, and good data management needs to be put in play more often

Anonymous said...

What's happening on Pine St-
Obviously a crime scene- State police, crime scene van, investigators wearing booties

Anonymous said...

Crime Scene investigation on Pine St-
What happened?

Larry Kelley said...

Initial reports at 12:40 AM this morning were for an individual who had been "stabbed to the neck."

When police and paramedics arrived, he claimed to have suffered the injury via a fall.

I don't think authorities bought that story.

Anonymous said...

Initial reports at 12:40 AM this morning were for an individual who had been "stabbed to the neck."
When police and paramedics arrived, he claimed to have suffered the injury via a fall.

Sounds an awful lot like a textbook case of domestic violence, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Christopher Desjardin

Hmmm.... Isn't "Desjardin" the last name of one of the more notorious slumlords in town? This wouldn't be their son, would it?