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BUPD Nabs Alleged Campus Thief in Kenmore Square

Roxbury woman on Boston’s Most Wanted list


Boston University Police hope their arrest of a woman on the Boston Police Department’s Most Wanted list early Tuesday afternoon may have brought to an end a spate of recent robberies from campus offices.

Josephine Simard, 34, of Roxbury, struggled with officers before she was arrested in front of the Boston Hotel Buckminster just before 1 p.m. October 8, according to BUPD officer Peter Shin. A secretary on the seventh floor of One Silber Way had spotted her in the suite that houses top University executives and immediately called the police. Shin says the woman appears to match the photo of a suspect in a flyer BUPD posted around the School of Management, at 595 Commonwealth Ave., following a string of robberies in recent weeks. BUPD canvassed the area and found the suspect outside the Buckminster.

“She definitely had a lot of stuff that didn’t belong to her,” Shin says. “She knows her way around here.”

Simard allegedly hit Boston University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center multiple times during her robbery spree. She was arraigned in Roxbury District Court Wednesday on 19 counts resulting from incidents that occurred at 595 Comm Ave, including one count of larceny from a building, multiple counts of receiving stolen property under $250, several counts of assault and battery on a police officer, one count of resisting arrest, one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and three counts of forgery of a check. She was also arraigned on nine separate counts for incidents at the medical center, which is just a couple of miles south of the Charles River Campus. Those charges include credit card fraud, improper use of a credit card, and larceny over or under $250. She pleaded not guilty on all counts and is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on November 6.

Calls to Simard’s attorney were not returned.

The Boston Police Department knows Simard well. On October 4, she was put on its Most Wanted list, for charges of credit card fraud, identity fraud, breaking and entering, and larceny. She was the only woman among 15 offenders on the infamous list. Shin says she had at least five outstanding warrants at the time of her arrest. “We’re not the only place she goes to,” he says.

At BU, he says, Simard likely looked for unlocked, empty offices, walked in, and grabbed whatever she could. Most of the items recovered were wallets and cell phones, things small enough to be tucked into an oversized bag and not noticed as the thief walked out. He recommends that University faculty, staff, and students continue to lock their rooms and offices to prevent such theft in the future.

BU detectives are still sifting through all the evidence to determine whether Simard could be linked to other recent robberies on campus. Shin says they may have a definite number of victims and a total cost of stolen property within several weeks, and they expect more charges to be filed against her at a later date.

Considering the number of items officers found on Simard at the time of her arrest, Shin says, “there’s a lot of back-checking that’s going on.”

Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

3 Comments on BUPD Nabs Alleged Campus Thief in Kenmore Square

  • Mo on 10.11.2013 at 9:54 am

    Crazy stuff! Most wanted lst? Is it available to students awareness? Great work on catching this gal!!

  • Tim Hegan on 10.11.2013 at 10:47 am

    Thank you to BUPD for keeping our neighborhood safe!!

  • CAITLIN CUSHMAN on 10.11.2013 at 1:52 pm

    I was unlucky enough to have my wallet nabbed before she was caught, and I want to commend the BUPD for being outstanding throughout. They were immediately responsive, informative, and re-assuring, and they followed up multiple times throughout the course of the investigation. I would have felt many times worse without their care and competence.

    Nice work, BUPD, and nice work to our cucumber-cool receptionist for identifying the suspect, interacting with her without betraying the slightest suspicion, and reporting her whereabouts to BUPD.

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