The Boston University Police Department arrested Josephine Simard, a woman on Boston’s Most Wanted list, who officials believe is connected to a series of thefts around campus, said BUPD Captain Robert Molloy.
Molloy said the suspect was found inside an office suite at 595 Commonwealth Ave., where several thefts have occurred in the last two weeks. He said an office secretary called BUPD immediately after she spotted Simard in the suite.
“She was seen at the building in the afternoon, around 12:30 p.m., which is consistent with the time that a lot of these thefts have occurred,” Molloy said. “Then she was observed exiting the building … officers were called up because someone saw her based upon the flyer we developed.”
An officer who was patrolling the area arrested Simard in Kenmore Square after she exited the School of Management building.
Molly said in the past few weeks, several wallets and a variety of electronic devices have been stolen from SMG and various other BU buildings. Through public investigation and surveillance videos, BUPD labeled Simard a suspect, and distributed her picture to the various offices that had been affected by these thefts.
“We’re still working on some of those cases [thefts from the past few weeks], trying to connect the dots,” Molloy said.
Molloy said Simard was arraigned in Roxbury District Court on Wednesday on 19 counts related to activity at 595 Commonwealth Ave. Her charges include credit card fraud and multiple counts of receiving stolen property.
“We are pleased that she was taken under arrest … and we just appreciate that the people who work in that building are really good at being our eyes and ears,” Molloy said. “If it weren’t for their contact from who observed her … she would not have been arrested and we would not have been able to take her into custody. So, we are very happy about the fact that people took it seriously and contacted us.”
BUPD Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica said before BUPD officers caught Simard on Tuesday, there were five outstanding warrants for her arrest. Simard has been on the Boston Police Department’s Most Wanted List since early October.
“Boston Police puts out a weekly most wanted in Boston, and these are people who are wanted for crimes investigated by Boston Police,” DiDomenica said. “They have their 15 most wanted people, which they update every week.”
Simard is a suspect in eight separate theft incidents, which are currently being investigated, DiDomenica said. BUPD officials anticipate she will be charged in several of them.
Simard was found in possession of 13 different people’s property that was reported stolen since the beginning of the academic school year. He said some of the recovered property belongs to BU faculty, and these items are currently being held as evidence.
DiDomenica said Simard is believed to be unaffiliated with BU, but her status is unclear as the investigation is still ongoing.
“It is good to see people who work at BU being aware of their surroundings and reporting suspicious behavior because that’s how she was discovered,” DiDomenica said. “So, we just like to encourage people to be aware of their surroundings, and secure their property, and if they see people who are acting suspiciously [or look] to be involved in criminal activity, to report it.”