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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 20, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Two students arrested and charged in connection with vehicle break-ins

Two students were arrested and charged last Thursday in connection with the Office of Public Safety’s investigation into vehicle break-ins.
Sophomore Danielle Varricchio and freshman Jennifer Forman were arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the 4th degree, a felony.

Investigator Tom Dunn said the students were found in possession of property believed to have been stolen from vehicles parked on campus. Dunn said they were released on their own recognizance.

Bill Ferguson, associate director of Public Safety, said the value of the stolen possessions added up to several hundred dollars.

In charges of stolen property in the 4th degree, New York state law holds that the property value must exceed $1,000 or must be made up of a credit card, debit card or public benefit card. The charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Laura Durling, assistant director of patrol and security services, said the women were found in possession of a credit card.

When reached by The Ithacan, Varricchio and Forman refused to comment. They were issued an appearance ticket for Ithaca Town Court for arraignment today.

Dunn said he expects more charges once people claim their property.

Senior Lindsay Bryar said she left her car unlocked when she went to class Nov. 9, and when she returned to her vehicle, her digital camera, purse and lunch bag were missing.

Bryar said her wallet was in her purse. She said her digital camera was the biggest loss, since it had pictures from her semester abroad in Spain.

“You can get a credit card replaced,” Bryar said. “But you can’t get memories of study abroad back.”

Bryar said Public Safety found her ISIC card in the Towers parking lot the day after she reported her missing items. She said an employee at a store on The Commons found her ATM card, AAA card and insurance card.

At press time, Bryar said Public Safety had recovered her purse but not her wallet or camera.

Freshman Maura Flanagan noticed her wallet was missing from a friend’s car Nov. 14. Public Safety officers woke her up at 5 a.m. Nov. 17 and brought her to the Public Safety office.

“They had the girls in a holding room and had me say if I knew them,” Flanagan said.

Flanagan said she identified Forman and was taken to identify her property. Along with her wallet, Flanagan said she saw property belonging to her friend, freshman Dan Lyons.

Lyons said Flanagan called him to say she had seen items of his in the evidence room. When he went to check on his car, which was parked in M-Lot, Lyons found his car-mounted GPS and an iPod adapter missing.

“It looked like a tornado had gone through [my car],” Lyons said.

Ferguson said both locked and unlocked cars were broken into.

The break-ins were not considered burglaries, Ferguson said, because they do not fit the definition of a burglary under New York state law.