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Janitor accused of stealing Keene State book fine money

KEENE - A Keene man employed as a member of a crew that cleans Keene State College has been charged with theft, accused of taking money from a late book fine jar at the library.

Keene Police Sgt. Mike Kopcha said his department was involved in an investigation spanning a few months, after receiving reports that money was being taken from a jar located on a counter at the college's library, where students deposit money for late book returns.

"Due to the high volume of people who had access to the library, it was impossible to identify a suspect," said Kopcha.

Kopcha said the library was closed to students over spring break, and that the only access to the library the day the most recent theft occurred was a cleaning crew from Unico, according to records showing security card swipes.

Kopcha said a Keene man, Zachary Prentice, 28, who was employed by Unico as a cleaner was not a member of the crew assigned to clean the library that day, yet records show he swiped a security card to access the facility.

Kopcha said a warrant was issued for Prentice, and he was picked up at his home on Pearl Street at 6 p.m. Saturday, charged with four counts of misdemeanor theft. Kopcha said police estimate, in total, about $200 was taken from the fine jar over several months.

Prentice was held on a separate bench warrant, and is due to be arraigned today at the 8th District Court in Keene.


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