Bicycle patrolman happens upon alleged burglary in progress, arrests 3

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University police officer on bicycle patrol caught three men allegedly burglarizing the Underground Café in the Hicks Undergradute Library early Sunday (June 29).

Officer Mike Boesch was on patrol at about 3 a.m. when he noticed a 1995 tan Mercury Grand Marquis parked in a no-parking zone in front of Stewart Center, according to a police report. Remembering several recent reported thefts in Stewart Center and the Hicks library, Boesch proceeded to ride to each of the Stewart Center doors to make sure they were secured when he noticed two men exiting the east doors at Hicks.

“One of the men was carrying a large backpack in front of him, and it appeared to be heavy,” Purdue police Lt. Fred Davis said. “The two got in the vehicle, where a third man was sitting in the driver’s seat, and our officer confronted them.”

Davis said that Boesch asked to see what was in the backpack, and the man carrying it complied. The officer found several Rockstar energy drinks and two Fuze fruit drinks inside of it.

After further searches and questioning at the Purdue police station the three men were arrested on multiple charges. All are listed as homeless and have no connections to Purdue.

Nicholas R. Smith, 19, who was seen exiting the library, had been previously banned from the Purdue campus. He was charged with burglary, Class C felony; theft, a Class D felony; trespassing, a Class A misdemeanor; and failure to appear on a previous charge. He also was charged with possession of marijuana under 30 grams, a Class A misdemeanor, after police found a baggie in the jacket he was wearing. A warrant for his arrest also had been issued by Lafayette police for a battery charge.

Alan E. Hughes, 21, the vehicle’s driver, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, a Class C felony, and false informing, a Class B misdemeanor. Tyler J. Bradbury, 20, the person seen carrying the backpack, was charged with burglary and theft.

Class C felonies are punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum eight years in prison, and Class D felonies are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and three years in prison. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine, and Class B misdemeanors by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Each of the three have been issued trespass orders and are banned from the Purdue campus, Davis said.

“This is a fine example of how bike patrol aids us in our duties here at Purdue,” Davis said. “Officer Boesch was able to observe the suspicious activity from areas that would have been extremely difficult by officers in our patrol vehicles.”

Davis said Purdue police also contacted Lafayette police about several fireworks found in the car in relation to a theft at Circle City Fireworks.

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