US & Canada

Air duct-crawling Kentucky students caught trying to steal exam

view from above of students taking an exam Image copyright PA

A University of Kentucky student in the US has been charged with burglary after crawling through air ducts to steal an exam paper from the tutor's office.

Henry Lynch II's luck ran out when his tutor, who had been working extremely late, surprised him - and an accomplice - when he came back to his office.

It happened at about 02:00 on Wednesday, a university spokesman said.

Fellow student Troy Kiphuth has also been charged. The duo will go before a judge next month.

According to Jay Blanton, the university spokesman, Mr Lynch, a 21 year-old biosystems engineering student, had entered the campus building ceiling ducts, crawled through them and dropped into his statistics instructor's room.

It is not clear how he had accessed the air ducts in the first place.

He had then opened the door to Mr Kiphuth, and both had proceeded to look for the paper while keeping the door blocked.

Meanwhile the teacher, John Cain, was on his way back down the corridor after a meal.

When he tried to open his office door and couldn't, Mr Cain shouted that he would call the police, upon which the men opened the door and ran out.

Later, Mr Lynch confessed - and told the police that he had tried to get the test earlier that day, too, but couldn't find it.


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The air duct method had worked for him before. He has confessed to stealing an exam earlier in the semester, but said he had not shared it with other students, Mr Blanton said.

The matter has been referred to the university's internal discipline system.

"Cheating and theft of this kind is very serious in an academic institution," the university spokesman said.

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