Students face charges for stealing

March 21, 2008 6:48:18 PM PDT
Two student athletes at Santa Clara University are accused of ripping off iPods and other devices from fellow students and trying to sell the goods on craigslist.

Michelle Novak had no idea that when she held a party at her house in Santa Clara, some of her stuff would end up on Craig's List.

"I think they went upstairs and took the iPods from the rooms and the stereo system out of the garage," said Santa Clara University student Michelle Novak.

The accused thieves are fellow classmates at Santa Clara University and members of the school's water polo team.

Twenty-year-old Thomas Hendrickson goes by Tommy and 21-year-old William Gorin goes by Billy. The two are well known in athletic circles and well liked.

"They seem like great guys, normal guys, really accomplished at sports, good students, it's just pretty shocking," said Santa Clara University student Maggie McAteer.

Police say the pair stole iPods, laptop computers and wallets. The first burglary happened Saturday night at Michelle Novak's house on Panelli Place.

A couple of hours later, police say the suspects stole similar items at two of the apartments in this complex. At one home, police say the two just opened an unlocked door and in another case, took a key from under the door mat and let themselves in.

In both of those cases, the victims were home but sleeping. On Monday, the rightful owners noticed some of their missing items for sale on craigslist.

"One of our detectives posed as a buyer and they met and the suspect was found to have in his possession one of the iPods that was stolen," said Lt. Mike Sellers from Santa Clara Police Department.

The university was closed on Friday, but the athletic director issued a statement saying the students have been suspended from the water polo team pending investigation.

The case has left just about everyone shaking their head.

"Why would you do that to people you know, it's not like they need the money or I'm sure they had laptops and iPods, why it's just pretty strange," said McAteer.

All of the stolen items have been returned to their owners. Tommy Hendrickson and Billy Gorin have pled not guilty and will be back in court April 14th.