Jordan Cuddemi

News Editor


Two master keys to the Redfern Arts Center were stolen in the most recent Redfern theft and have not been found.

The call came through Campus Safety dispatch on Wednesday, April 4 with the caller stating keys were stolen out of a jacket pocket that was left in the green room of the building.

The jacket belonged to Marcia Lehninger, a music adjunct faculty member. “In my own mind I was being cautious because I had cash in my purse, so I left the purse in the car to be safe,” she said. Meanwhile, she brought the keys inside the building with her.
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The perpetrator stole the keys, found Lehninger’s car in the parking lot, and broke into her car late Wednesday evening.

The perpetrator stole her GPS and wallet out of her car. “They left the purse,” Lehninger said.

In addition, they proceeded to keep Lehninger’s car keys—the keys that contained two master keys to the Redfern. “The scariest part to all the faculty members now is [the thieves] have access to the computer rooms, the instruments, and all the classrooms,” Lehninger said.

Campus Safety Director Amanda Warman said the KSC Lockshop has been notified to change the locks in the Redfern; however, Stephen Green, supervisor of carpentry at the Physical Plant, said he was unaware of the status of the lock change and unclear of anyone who would know.

“[It’s] still in process. I am not aware of anybody who would know, I’m sorry, I’ve got to go,” Green said, before hanging up the phone.

Warman said theft is not just an issue particular to the Redfern. “It is a campus-wide problem.”

The Redfern contains a lot of valuable items, which could be why the perpetrator is targeting this particular building, Warman said.  Also, the Redfern has “lots of dark corners.”

The correlation of the time when items are being stolen leads Warman to believe the perpetrator knows the operation of the Redfern. “They know there are performers who don’t have their belongings on them on stage.” Warman said the thief is familiar with the area in which they steal from and said this particular thief probably has access to the building. “It’s hard because people don’t want to believe that a member of their community is violating their trust.”

A partial description of the perpetrator has since been released. “A white male, very tall. Wearing a black hoodie and black pants and shoes,” a release from Campus Safety stated.

Whomever the perpetrator may be, they made another pricey discovery that left one KSC student empty-handed.

The student, a sophomore who asked to remain anonymous, had her backpack stolen out of her locker. ”I put my bag in my locker, took my clarinet out before orchestra, and put my bag back in [the locker].” On her way back from rehearsal, she said she immediately noticed something was off. “As I was walking down the hallway I could see the bottom part [of the locker] actually bent.”

In a statement posted by Campus Safety on walls and doors of the Redfern, “another theft was attempted by the same means but was unsuccessful.”

The sophomore said she lost her Mac laptop, all of her creative writing work, a flash drive, a memory card, and stationary items. All of which have not been returned. The student notified Campus Safety and the Keene Police Dept. after the incident occurred on March 28, but nothing has since been found. “They just got really lucky,” she said.

The student claimed the perpetrator knows what he wants.

Another backpack theft occurred on March 30, but the bag was later found in a trash can. Inside the backpack were percussion mallets, the student explained. “Whoever is stealing doesn’t realize the value of musical equipment. It’s not valuable in their eyes.” The student said there was over $100 worth of percussion mallets inside the bag.

The backpack was in the percussion closet, she said. “The door hadn’t been closing properly. It took maintenance time to fix it,” she added.

Warman said Campus Safety is developing ways to prevent more thefts from happening. She said there are short-term solutions being put into effect as of right now. Those efforts include posting the building with warnings about the thefts and what they included, meeting with key administrators in the building to talk about issues and concerns, and increasing patrol in the area.

Warman said a long-term solution would be seeking “security technology” such as surveillance videos for the Redfern. However, Warman said there is a cost involved and when there is cost “it needs to be born by the departments.”

Adjunct faculty member Lehninger is in the Redfern on Tuesdays and Thursdays and said she has not seen increased patrol units within the building. “I’m surprised not to see an increase in Campus Safety and don’t see anyone walking around the building.”

Lehninger said she is surprised no one has changed any of the locks. “I thought that would be the first procedure,” she said.

There are three sides to this triangle, explained Warman. “The perpetrator, the intended victim, and then there is opportunity. We can’t control the perp’s acts, but we can reduce the opportunity,” she said. Reducing opportunity comes in forms of reducing access to buildings and individual areas, and making sure people don’t leave items unattended, she explained.

“Unfortunately you end up feeling like the victim is responsible because we can’t control the perpetrator’s acts,” Warman said.


Jordan Cuddemi can be contacted at


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