Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

CUPD oversees security matters on campus and concerning the Cornell community.

September 2, 2019

Serial Thief Arrested for String of Cornell Library Thefts

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Despite an attempt to book it from the scene of the crime, an individual suspected of burglarizing several Cornell libraries was arrested on Friday following a tip from a watchful staff member, according to a Cornell Police press release.

The accused thief had previously eluded the CUPD, which has been investigating a slew of larcenies reported at central campus libraries for some time. Among the items reported stolen included several credit cards, laptop computers and other property.

But after sharing a description of the suspect, a vigilant Olin Library employee noticed the suspect closely matching the profile exit the building at approximately 1:30 p.m., prompting the worker to contact authorities. The suspect, identified as Massia White-Saunders, 21, was then detained by CUPD patrol officers and charged with 4 counts of Grand Larceny, a class E felony. Each count carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

White-Saunders failed to post bail and is currently being held in Tompkins County Jail awaiting trial. The Tuesday arrest, however, was hardly the man’s first brush with trouble: White-Saunders has been previously caught attempting to steal items from Lansing’s Target outlet, and has previously faced a number of larceny charges, resulting in a ban from the Ithaca Mall, according to WHCU radio.

CUPD thanked the watchful staff member for their role in apprehending the alleged serial thief.

“We are thankful for the alert staff member who helped stop these crimes from impacting our community,” said Cornell Police Chief David Honan. “Partnership between the police and the community is essential to provide for a safe and secure campus.”