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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Homeless man faces burglary charges

By William Kaempffer
Register Staff
— A 40-year-old homeless man has been arrested for burglarizing a Jewish student and religious center at Yale University Sunday.
It was the second time that day that the Chabad at Yale, at 37 Edgewood Ave., was broken into, but New Haven police said Monday that it remained unclear whether Gary Rogers, who listed his residence at a Grand Avenue homeless shelter, is responsible for both.
Rabbi Shua Rosenstein discovered the first burglary at 10 a.m. when he arrived to prepare for a planned Sunday brunch. He found the building ransacked and the organization’s desktop computer stolen. The thief got in by breaking a window in the back of the house.
Less than three hours later, that police received a burglar alarm notice at the same location. This time, officers found Rogers in the building and a computer printer inside a garbage bag.
“He obviously figured that a computer without a printer is worth not as much as a computer with a printer, so he came back,” Rosenstein speculated.
Rosenstein added that police Sunday seemed fairly certain that Rogers was either responsible for the earlier break-in or knew who was. Police Monday said that remained an open question.
About a dozen Yale students, some with no connection to the Chabad, came to the location Sunday to help clean up.
“It was really heartwarming to see the wide net of support that helped clean up the mess — and it was a big mess. It shows something about the character of the Yale community,” said Rosenstein.
Taking all things into consideration, he said, the situation could have been worse. Untouched, for instance, were some religious items that have great religious, if not monetary, value.
And the computer hard drive was backed up at an outside data center.
Rogers faces one count of third-degree burglary.


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