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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Larceny at PEIF results in student arrests

Two+NMU+students+were+arrested+after+allegedly+committing+larceny+from+the+locker+rooms+of+the+PEIF.+%0APhoto+by%3A+Emma+Case+
Two NMU students were arrested after allegedly committing larceny from the locker rooms of the PEIF. Photo by: Emma Case

A three-week long investigation of larceny in the PEIF locker rooms concluded with the arrest of two NMU students the morning of Feb. 12.

According to Marquette District Court, Kevontae Jewitt and Tatyana Cunegin were arraigned Tuesday Feb. 13.

Jewitt, 18, was charged with three counts of larceny from a building, one count of using a computer to commit a crime and one count of illegal sale or use of a financial transaction device or credit card. His bond is set at $40,000.

Cunegin, 19, was charged with one count of larceny from a building, one count of possession of a financial transaction device and one count of illegal sale or use of a financial transaction device or credit card. Her bond is set at $15,000.

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Both Jewitt and Cunegin will be back in court on Feb. 28 for a probable cause conference and on March 7 for a preliminary examination.

This particular saga may have ended, but it still serves as a cautionary tale to the student body as a reminder of how important it is to keep valuables secured, Detective Lt. of Public Safety and Police Services Guy LaPlante said.

The cases being investigated here were beyond just the typical measures of petty theft on campus, LaPlante said.

“The premise of these crimes was pretty in depth,” LaPlante said. “[It’s] something we don’t normally see.”

These students targeted both the men’s and women’s locker rooms mainly in search of cell phones and computers, which they would utilize to steal account information, LaPlante said.

“During this three-week investigation, we had a series of events take place where items would be jostled or moved or disarrayed,” LaPlante said. “Then we come to find out there’s been some activity going on with computers and cell phones.”

Students would then contact their financial institution and disclose fraudulent activity because their card numbers had been stolen, which is a felony, LaPlante said. The perpetrators were arrested for multiple crimes.
“They were working it. They were working it hard,” LaPlante said. “They had a system down.”

Jewitt


Now, it is more important than ever to keep all valuables secured as every victim of these crimes left their valuables in an unsecured locker, LaPlante said. Keep credit cards and other personal information out of lockers and make sure cell phones and other technologies are secured. A lot of personal information can become accessible from those devices. For example, an Amazon account saves credit card information which can be targeted.
“It was a good arrest. It was nice to see this thing come to an end,” LaPlante said.

If you are going to bring valuables into the PEIF, lock them up. If you notice any of your items, especially credit cards, have been moved, contact your financial adviser and get the accounts changed as a precautionary measure, he said.

There are options available to help keep your belongings safe at the PEIF, said Katie Moe, campus recreation and fitness manager at the PEIF. There are locks available for rent at the front desk, and students can purchase a locker for the semester, Moe said. She noted the importance of “see something, say something,” if students detect any suspicious behavior from letting unauthorized people into the facility to rummaging through others’ bags.
“We want everyone to have a quality experience at the PEIF,” Moe said. “We can only do that if everyone helps to create a safe and welcoming environment.”

Cunegin

It didn’t take a special, skilled criminal to commit these crimes. It can still happen at any time, LaPlante warned.

“It’s disheartening, but it happens,” LaPlante said. “It’s a very frustrating thing on law enforcement’s side, but we’re doing the best we can.”

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