The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 14, 2013

Bucknell University students charged in fraternity burglaries

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Two Bucknell University students face multiple felony charges for allegedly stealing laptop computers, textbooks, cash and assorted items from fellow fraternity brothers.

Jeffrey Finegan, 21, of Phillipsburg, N.J., and Carter Wells, 20, of Branford, Conn., were arraigned recently by District Judge Leo S. Armbruster and are free on $25,000 bail each.

Charges against the men stem from burglaries Feb. 16 and 17 at rooms of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Bucknell West Mod 10 and Mod 7 on campus. They entered through unlocked windows and doors, the affidavit states.

Bucknell public safety-police is running the investigation.

Finegan faces seven felony charges: three counts of burglary, three counts of criminal trespass and one count of receiving stolen property. Wells faces five felony charges: burglary, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and two counts of conspiracy.

In the affidavit, police allege the two stole five laptops worth about $5,800, textbooks worth about $1,900 and rented textbooks worth $1,400. They also are accused of taking cash, clothing and other items.

Finegan is said to have admitted to another burglary at Mod 10 about Feb. 9, the affidavit states.

Bucknell police learned of the burglaries Feb. 24 after fraternity members Michael Maneri and Andrew D’Abbraccio reported them, according to the affidavit.

Finegan and Wells are Delta Upsilon members. Finegan resigned as fraternity president Feb. 24, Maneri said.

Maneri told police on Feb. 16 that he allowed Finegan to borrow his 2009 C-Class Mercedes Benz, as he had many times before, to go to a local fast-food restaurant, but learned a week later from fellow fraternity members Nathan Opalinski and Justin Meshulam that Finegan allegedly had used the car to commit the burglaries.

Opalinski and Meshulam said they went with Finegan on Feb. 9 to Mod 10 to play a prank on a friend by rearranging his room, but observed Finegan putting items into a backpack. He later gave both men cash.

The men gave the cash to D’Abbraccio and told him what happened. D’Abbraccio held onto it until he and Maneri went to police.

The laptops have not been recovered. Wells told police he disposed of them in a Dumpster behind Kohl’s Department Store in Hummels Wharf, the affidavit states. A police search did not turn up the computers.

Finegan told police he and Wells had been selling the textbooks through several online retailers, the affidavit states.

Bucknell officials do not anticipate further charges in the case, said Andy Hirsch, director of media communications. “We are taking disciplinary actions in line with the policies and procedures set forth in our student handbook,” he said.

Both men appear again before Armbruster on March 28 for preliminary hearings.