UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Four Hofstra University men’s basketball players, including two starters, have been arrested on burglary charges, Nassau County police said.
The players are accused of breaking into six unlocked dorm rooms at the Uniondale campus on Hempstead Turnpike between Oct. 4 and Nov. 5, police said.
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“They were particularly fond of Apple products,” Nassau County Police Lt. Ray Cote said.
The suspects made off with money, a Sony laptop, headphones, three MacBook Pros, an Apple iPod, two Apple iPads and an Apple iTouch, police said.
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The suspects have been identified by police as Shaquille Stokes, 20, of Manhattan; Kentrell Washington, 18, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Jimmy Hall Jr., 18, of Brooklyn, and Dallas Anglin, 18, of Montclair, N.J.
Hall, a freshman, is the team’s No. 2 scorer. He and Stokes, a sophomore, started in six of the team’s seven games this season. Washington and Anglin, both freshmen, have seen regular playing time off the bench.
Stokes is charged with five counts of second-degree burglary, while Hall is charged with four counts, Washington with two counts and Anglin with one count, police said.
Anglin is also charged with one count of tampering with evidence.
“The young man may have been a frightened young man who may have acted out of fear rather than any criminal intent,” Gary Villanueva, Anglin’s attorney, told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
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The players pleaded not guilty on Friday and are being held on bail.
A break in the case came last week when a student who lost her iPad in the beginning of November used the “Find My iPad” app and discovered that the device had been registered to Stokes, Police Lt. Cote said.
The players have been suspended from the school and the team, the university said.
“Due to the nature of the charges, the four students have been immediately suspended from the university, including the basketball team and classes pending the outcome of the case,” said Melissa Connolly, vice president of university relation, in a statement.
Police said the players’ coach, Mo Cassara, also reported that electronics and other items were stolen from him at the start of the semester. However, Assistant Vice President of University Relations Karla Schuster said Cassara reported the thefts to Hofstra Public Safety on May 11, and that none of the accused were part of the school community at that time. Investigators said the players haven’t been charged in those thefts.
Hofstra’s Department of Public Safety fully cooperated with the police throughout the investigation.
The team, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, is 3-4 this season. It is scheduled to play Southern Methodist University in a home game on Saturday.
Last month, Hofstra suspended players Taran Buie and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, for violating team rules. The suspensions were for two preseason events and two regular-season games. Hofstra cited student privacy laws in providing no further information in that case.
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