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4,500 COVID Test Kits Stolen From Northwestern University

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Northwestern University police are investigating the theft of 4,500 COVID-19 test kits on Monday from a campus building.

Authorities said at around 5:00 there were reports of a burglary from the Foster-Walker Complex located at 1927 Orrington Avenue. The COVID-19 test kits were taken "from a storage room in a common area within the facility," according to the police.

CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports these were take home test kits that had yet to be given out. But you have to wonder if these were stolen for personal use, resale, or was this just some dumb prank?

"The Northwestern University Police Department is reviewing security cameras in the area and attempting to identify those involved," according to news release.

On Northwestern's campus, Foster-Walker Complex is home to more than 200 undergraduate students. It was also home to 4,000 to 5,000 university-owned COVID-19 at home tests. That's until Northwestern police put out a crime notice, saying the stacks of tests were stolen on Monday.

The test kits were in "a storage room in a common area within the  facility." But how does someone get that many thousands of tests out the door of a dorm?

It's a question NUPD hopes to answer by watching the dorm's video surveillance. Still, this may throw a wrench in the university's testing plan. It's requiring all undergraduate students to complete at least one COVID-19 test before November 5 in order to keep the campus positivity rate low.

CBS 2 wanted to ask the university if this missing this stash of tests would impact that testing goal and for any other updates in the investigation, but a Northwestern spokesperson had no further comment.

Northwestern police ask that anyone with information on the theft call 847-491-3456.


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