The odds were long, but a couple of University of Kentucky students decided it was worth the risk to climb through the ceiling ducts to a teacher’s office to steal a statistics exam.
Unfortunately for them, the teacher is a night owl.
According to UK Police, UK statistics instructor John Cain had been working late in his third floor office in the Multidisciplinary Science Building on Rose Street on Tuesday night. About midnight, he left to get something to eat. When he returned about 1:30 a.m., he tried to unlock the door, but it was blocked by something.
“He yelled out that he was calling the police and then the door swung open and two young men ran down the hallway,” recounted UK spokesman Jay Blanton.
Shortly after police arrived, one of the students returned and confessed. Henry Lynch II, a 21-year-old junior majoring in biosystems engineering, gave police an earful, including that he’d climbed through the building’s air ducts to the ceiling above Cain’s office and dropped down into the room, then unlocked the door and let in his friend, sophomore Troy Kiphuth, 21, who was not in Cain’s class.
Lynch also told them he had already tried to steal the exam earlier that evening around 6 p.m., but couldn’t find it. And, he said, it wasn’t the first time: Earlier in the semester, he’d successfully stolen another exam from Cain’s office, but he assured officers that he had not shared the answers with other students.
Lynch apparently gained access to Cain’s office all three times by climbing through the building’s ducts, and dropping down through the ceiling. How he got into the core of the building remains under investigation.
UK Police cited both students with third degree burglary, which will get referred to Fayette Circuit Court.
Blanton said the matter has also been referred to UK’s Office of Student Conduct, which will now conduct a formal investigation and review.
“The Office of Student Conduct takes this matter very seriously and it will be reviewed extensively to make a determination and we will act accordingly,” Blanton said.