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Grad student charged with theft from biology department

A 25-year-old graduate student is facing multiple felony charges. The man was the subject of a nine-month investigation into the theft of equipment from the biology department at Central Michigan University, including microscopes and other expensive equipment.

The defendant is being held at the Isabella County Jail on a bond of $90,000. The young man could be sentenced to decades or even life in prison. He is accused of felony breaking and entering, along with concealing stolen property. He also allegedly possessed burglar's tools and committed "larceny in a building." Further, investigators say the student was engaged in counterfeiting and identity theft. Authorities say they used surveillance cameras in and around the biology department building to find the perpetrator behind the thefts. They arrested the defendant on Dec. 19.

The identity theft charges stem from the fact that the man was allegedly found in possession of personal information such as Social Security numbers belonging to six or more students on campus. Those students were notified about the situation. One of the alleged victims who often attends class in the biology facilities said she has no evidence yet that her information was used for nefarious purposes.

Biology department staff say they are hurrying to access additional equipment. One professor says he has been scrambling to find another microscope to replace one of those that was allegedly stolen.

The defendant, whom police have described as"career criminal, not an opportunistic criminal," is facing a total of 11 felony charges. However, an arrest does not mean that the man is guilty of the crimes. A qualified Michigan criminal defense attorney can help defendants present their case and ensure that their rights are protected as their case goes through the legal system.

Source: Central Michigan Life, "CMU graduate student faces 11 felony charges, allegedly stole $30,000 in biology department equipment" Orrin Shawl, Jan. 17, 2014

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