As University Police (UP) investigated three Library thefts in the past month, authorities thought a former USF student responsible for a previous crime in the area might be involved.
They were right.
Following the arrest of Stephanie Dawn Moore, 20, police are now encouraging students whose belongings were stolen from the Library to come forward to help investigators.
“They know (Moore) may have pawned other things,” said UP spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross. “If anyone had anything stolen from the Library recently – if they could report it – it may be something we could recover.”
After accumulated evidence linked Moore to the three thefts, police called her to the UP station for questioning Saturday.
They arrested Moore after she admitted to stealing an iPhone, an iPod nano and textbooks, among other things, Ross said.
“We had a few thefts from the Library,” Ross said. “The detective was able to determine that (Moore) had been out here through video. At that point, he was able to positively identify her as a possible suspect in these cases.”
On Oct. 26, Angelica Newton, a junior majoring in mass communications, reported her backpack stolen from the fourth floor of the Library.
Newton said she left her cubicle to go look at a book on a nearby shelf. When she returned, her backpack was gone.
“They were left unattended … I could see (my belongings), but I wasn’t looking in that direction,” Newton said.
Newton asked two students sitting nearby if they saw anything happen. They said a woman was near Newton’s belongings, but they weren’t sure if she took anything.
Newton’s iPod nano, three textbooks, two clickers she uses for class attendance, a jacket and her car registration papers were inside her backpack.
“I’m frustrated because she stole my books the week of midterms, so that screwed up everything,” Newton said. “I couldn’t study.”
Newton received a call from a UP detective informing her that an arrest was made in the case. However, Newton has not received her belongings.
In another theft report filed Nov. 8, a USF student said his backpack, with three textbooks inside, was stolen. Moore admitted to stealing textbooks and selling them to the USF bookstore and Gray’s College Bookstore in Tampa, according to the arrest affidavit.
Moore also admitted to stealing a student’s iPhone from the second floor of the Library on Nov. 9, according to the affidavit. Moore said she pawned the iPhone and iPod nano at a shop on Nebraska Avenue, according to the affidavit.
Moore received eight charges: five felonies and three misdemeanors. UP charged Moore with three counts of dealing in stolen property and two counts of grand theft in the third degree, according to the charge report.
Moore also received two counts of trespassing and one for petit theft in the first degree.
This is not the first time Moore has been arrested this semester for stealing property in the Library. UP arrested her on Sept. 17 and charged her with stealing a student’s car from the Collins Boulevard Parking Facility. She stole a student’s backpack that contained the car keys.
Moore was charged with grand theft auto, grand theft in the third degree and trespassing.
Moore, who had three outstanding warrants from the Tampa Police Department at the time, was also charged with driving with a suspended license and two counts of unlawful use of a temporary tag, according to the September charge report.
According to the USF Registrar’s Office, Moore enrolled at the University in fall 2008 before dropping out.
As of late Tuesday, Moore was being held at Orient Road Jail on $28,000 bond.