A UCSB graduate student who skipped town after stealing college property may soon return to face the music.

About $10,000 worth of electronics were stolen from the Geology Dept. in eight separate incidents between Nov. 7 and Dec. 12. Among the items stolen were a web camera, slide scanner, CD recorder, two desktop computers, a laptop, a super disk drive, a scale from one of the labs and several flat screen computer monitors, as well as master keys and magnetic card keys for Webb Hall.

The suspect described to police the location of the stolen equipment, which was then returned to the Geology Dept.

“We didn’t even know there had been any robberies until after Thanksgiving break,” said David Robbins, the Geology Dept.’s system and networking manager. “Though a slide scanner had already been stolen up to that point, we thought it had just been misplaced until some computers and monitors disappeared over the break.”

“There was actually a graduate student in the building during one of the robberies who saw a computer in a bag, but they didn’t think anything of it until they heard about the thefts. The robber must have hid when the student came around, and then came back later to finish the job,” he said.

Several personal checks were also stolen, which the suspect made out to himself and cashed with forged signatures before leaving town.

“We’re obviously very pleased that the equipment has been returned to us, especially in light of the budget cutbacks that are going on right now,” Robbins said. “There was also some research that would have been totally lost if we didn’t get one of the computers back.”

“I’d say the case is 99.9 percent done,” said Bill Bean, assistant chief of the UC Police Dept. “This is a known suspect that has cooperated fully up to this point, and we hope he will return to town in the next few days so we can settle this.”