CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE : Theft Suspect to Be Arraigned

A Cal State Northridge student who was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment from campus offices is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in San Fernando Municipal Court, campus police said.

Andrew Kossacoff, a senior psychology major, allegedly entered the offices with a passkey he took from a professor's desk, CSUN Police Lt. Mark Hissong said.

A search of Kossacoff's apartment turned up some, but not all, of the computer equipment that was stolen in two burglaries, one in January, the other in September, Hissong said. The September theft alone resulted in a loss of $24,000 in equipment from the Administration Building, he said.

"Acting on information by the dean of students, we went to the individual's apartment for the purpose of conducting an interview pertaining to the unauthorized possession of a state key," Hissong said.

The dean's office alerted police that Kossacoff might have the key as a result of a preliminary investigation into the possibility that he might have altered his grade in a class.

Mary Cronopulos-Raz, assistant dean of students and coordinator of student discipline, said she could not comment on the alleged grade change--a violation of the student conduct code--because of privacy rules protecting students.

The key, which police believe Kossacoff took from the desk of a professor, not only worked in the professor's office, but in other offices, including two in which thefts were reported, Hissong said.

Hissong said that $10,000 in state property was found in the apartment. Police also confiscated $2,400 in cash, he said.

"There were at least six other incidents of burglaries" between January and September, Hissong said, adding that none of the computer equipment in those break-ins was recovered.

Kossacoff also is being investigated in connection with the other burglaries, Hissong said.

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