MINEOLA, N.Y. >> Four Hofstra University basketball players, including former University of Hawaii guard Shaquille Stokes, were arrested today on burglary charges stemming from dormitory room break-ins, police said.
Detectives said the players were charged in six burglaries that occurred between Oct. 4 and Nov. 5, but they suspect there have been numerous other thefts starting at the beginning of the semester, including from basketball coach Mo Cassara.
The players haven’t been charged in the theft of Cassara’s property, although the inquiry is ongoing. Cassara did not immediately comment through a university spokeswoman.
Those who reported thefts say electronic items, cash and credit cards were stolen. Nassau County Detective Lt. Raymond Cote said he expected publicity about the arrests to prompt students who may have thought they simply lost laptop computers, iPads and cellphones to now come forward and report the items stolen.
Cote said some of the stolen items were sold on Craigslist and elsewhere, but he estimated that $10,000 worth of equipment had been recovered since the players’ arrest on Thursday. Many of the items vanished from common rooms in dormitory suites, where doors were often left unlocked, Cote said.
The arrested players were Stokes, 20, of Manhattan, Kentrell Washington, 18, of Las Vegas; Jimmy Hall, 18, of Brooklyn; and Dallas Anglin, 18, of Montclair, N.J. Each pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today.
(Stokes signed with Hawaii out of Lincoln High School in New York and played his freshman season with the Rainbow Warriors. He played in 30 games and started 12 for UH in the 2011-12 season, averaged 8.4 points and 2.2 assists per game. He left the program in the off-season and returned home to be closer to his family.
(UH coach Gib Arnold said, “It sounds like it’s an unfortunate situation. I don’t have all the details, so I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to (comment further) on … alleged allegations.”)
Hall, a freshman, is Hofstra’s No. 2 scorer. He and Stokes, a sophomore, started in six of the team’s seven games this season. Washington and Anglin, both freshmen, have seen regular playing time off the bench.
In a statement, the university said the four had been suspended from the basketball team, classes, residence halls and facilities, pending the outcome of the case.
Melissa Connolly, Hofstra’s vice president of university relations, said the public safety department worked with Nassau County police since the investigation began.
Stokes was charged with five counts of second-degree burglary. Washington was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary. Hall was charged with four counts of second degree burglary. Anglin was charged with one count of second-degree burglary and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
A recording for an attorney for Washington and Stokes said the phone number was no longer in service. Anglin’s attorney did not immediately return a phone message and Hall was represented by an attorney from Legal Aid, which has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.
The team, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, is 3-4 this season. It is scheduled to play Southern Methodist University in a home game on Saturday.
Last month, Hofstra suspended two other players, Taran Buie and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, for violating team rules. The suspensions were for two preseason events and two regular-season games. Hofstra cited student privacy laws in providing no further information in that case.