MIT Crime Club: MIT mascot Tim the Beaver as fearless campus crimestopper

MIT Crime Club, Nov 13, 2017 

July 12, 2017:  Federal agents arrest a research scientist outside Building 13 and charge him with what MIT just calls “financial crime.”  Here’s the police log entry.  The Club is trying to find out the type of financial crime (fraud, forgery, or embezzlement) and the name of the agency.

Research Lab Worker Arrested, Charged with Securities Fraud
Chinese citizen in Boston area charged with making illegal trades off nonpublic information provided by his wife
Fei Yan, a 31-year-old Chinese citizen, was charged by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office with two counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud.…
Mr. Yan worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s electronics research lab, according to an MIT spokeswoman.…
… Prosecutors said he also searched for “insider trading with international account” and viewed an article entitled, “Want to Commit Insider Trading? Here's How Not to Do It.”
— Nicole Hong and Sara Randazzo, “Research Lab Worker Arrested,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2017.

Bicycle theft prevention workshop:  Description in the Events Calendar

wheel release lever secured with hose clamp   bicycle with theft-deterrent paint design

Members have been known to give away free saliva-alcohol test strips.

“Someone from the Crime Club … gave us kits to detect dangerous drugs in cocktails or determine somebody’s blood alcohol level from their saliva.  Ken was very happy, because as an ASA person he allocated money to the crime club.”

Sam Maurer, “Marching Band Entry,” Life & Culture (blog), MIT Admissions, November 1, 2005.

Project findings:  The label instructions are incomprehensible to anyone who’s over the limit.

The Harvard Crime Club was organized by students “looking to MIT’s Crime Club as an example.”  Xi Yu, “CSI: Harvard,” Flyby (blog), Harvard Crimson, January 30, 2010.

The City Council passed a resolution thanking the Campus Crimestoppers for making the campus and the city a “safer and more welcoming environment for students.”

Cambridge, Mass., Res. 37 of Sept. 26, 2011

Entrepreneurship Center judges selected MIT Crime Club President Thea Koullias ’13 as a top-ten contestant in the Products & Services track of the $100K Elevator Pitch Contest, where she presented the club’s idea for a stolen-property recovery service.  The Tornero Business Plan, submitted to MGMT 15.390 (New Enterprises), aimed for a revenue of $5.4 million by year 4.

Minutes of the related IAP project meetings.  Koullias has her own fashion-tech brand now, but some intrepid Sloan student may be interested in taking on the project...

April 2010:  Of the twelve largest universities in Massachusetts, MIT reports the highest theft rate.

University  |  Theft rate = Net value of property stolen)/(10,000 degree-seeking students enrolled)  |  Stolen-property recovery rate

      MIT $ 306,000       2.5%
  Harvard $  156,000 7.4%
  Boston Univ. $    97,000 5.0%
  Northeastern $    71,000 5.8%
  UMass–Amherst      $    62,000 7.5%

“Uniform Crime Reporting Record Card (2008; 2009),” in FBI, Supp. to Return A Master File (2009; 2010), available in E-mail from CJIS_COMM to MIT Crime Club (2011).  FBI, Crime in the United States, 2004; 2005; 2008; 2009.

June 2012:  MIT hires five additional patrol officers.

Stolen-property data for MIT, Harvard, and BU police jurisdictions, 2006–2014.

FAIR Fund invited the club to nominate a candidate for the semiannual Dru Scholarship Award, supporting efforts by students to combat violence against women.  Club member Brittan Smith (Harvard ’09) shared the $1500 award for her work in making a drink-spiking test kit available to students at the College.

The Campus Crimestoppers have been trying to find a personal-safety device that actually works.  We’ve determined that chemical sprays are a bad idea if you’re facing upwind; that whistles are universally ignored; and that tactical flashlights are almost effective — meaning, useless.

Eventually we gave up and designed our own device, an optoacoustic “sonic flashlight.”  For a description, see the CC&A Venture Information Form.

The director of the Entrepreneurs Club invited our project team to serve as the study case for MGMT SEM 089, Starting Up New Technology-Based Business Enterprises at MIT.

Which dorm won the 2008 Sparky the Fire Dog Award for Not Setting Off as Many Fire Alarms as Last Year?  Listen to East Campus House Manager Joe Graham’s interview with the club on Droppin’ Knowledge (WMBR radio broadcast, April 30, 2009).

In 2009 the club sent two P.I.s to investigate a murder scene at Harvard College.  More at Snapped: Killer Couples, “Brittany Smith and Jabrai Copney,” October 13, 2014.

A Harvard student and a chart-topping music producer’s secret criminal life is exposed when a botched drug deal leads to murder…

Brittany Smith & Jabrai Copney, at 43:22

Jessica Fargen, MIT Kids Send Spies to Harvard: Slaying prompts closer study of campus security,” Boston Herald, June 3, 2009.

Jason Schwartz, “The Case of the Gumshoe Geeks: The curious MIT club that's taken on a murder investigation as an afterschool project,” Boston Magazine, August 2009.

The Crime Club was organized in 2004/05 by Margeaux Randolph ’04, Adora Asala ’04, and Shavonne Nyoka Hylton ’05 and recognized as an MIT Student Group in April 2005.

“The founders of the MIT Crime Club are dedicated to improving general safety for MIT students, both on and off campus.”  Constitution (2005).

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Creative Commons License “Projects & History” (mod. Nov. 13, 2017) by MIT Crime Club is licensed for use by others under an Attribution 4.0 International License.