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Harvard Police Investigates AirPods Robbery in the Yard

Students make their way through Harvard Yard Thursday afternoon.
Students make their way through Harvard Yard Thursday afternoon.
By Ema R. Schumer, Crimson Staff Writer


Harvard Yard on a sunny day in the fall.
Harvard Yard on a sunny day in the fall. By Amy Y. Li

The Harvard University Police Department is investigating a male Harvard undergraduate’s allegation that he was robbed of his Apple AirPods in Harvard Yard on Sunday, HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano wrote in an email to Harvard affiliates Monday.

The victim and another student were walking in the Yard near Thayer Hall when two unidentified males approached the students, according to Catalano.

Catalano’s email stated that one of the unidentified men allegedly asked to see one of the student's AirPods “in order to determine if his charger was working properly.” Upon request, the victim handed one AirPod to the man, who then demanded the second AirPod. The victim repeatedly declined and then asked for the first one back.

The other unidentified man allegedly “purposely and physically” stepped in between the student and the man holding his AirPod to prevent the student from retrieving his property. Out of concern for what may happen if he did not comply, the student handed over his second AirPod to the men, who then fled the scene, Catalano wrote.

The incident comes months after a series of burglaries were reported in first floor rooms in Wigglesworth and Holworthy Halls — two freshman dorms located in Harvard Yard. In these earlier thefts, the offender or offenders climbed through windows and stole laptops, wallets, and various other Apple products.

In addition to Sunday’s robbery, two incidents of AirPods theft were reported to HUPD in the month of February, according to HUPD crime logs.

In the email, Catalano encouraged University affiliates to take precautions when navigating Harvard’s campus, which is located in an urban setting that he said shares many of the crimes and safety issues existent in other cities.

“Persons should avoid talking on cell phones, listening to music, or walking too close to persons unnecessarily,” he wrote.

“Trust your instincts,” he added. “If you feel uncomfortable about someone near you, head for a populated area and call the Harvard University Police Department.”

—Staff writer Ema R. Schumer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emaschumer.

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CrimeHUPDHarvard Yard