LIKE clockwork, the well-dressed couple always sat in the back of Pearl Room 101 during the twice-weekly international- trade course at Drexel University.
Before the start of every class this fall - held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 1:50 p.m. - Edward K. Anderton brought lunch to his honey, Jocelyn S. Kirsch, usually a fruit-and-cheese selection from Starbucks, one student who saw the couple told the Daily News.
During class, Kirsch, a Drexel senior, took copious notes on her computer and asked her fair share of questions. Anderton "just sat there," said the classmate, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I thought he was part of the class."
Anderton wasn't. In fact, Anderton, an economics major who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, was not enrolled at Drexel.
Kirsch told her study group that her boyfriend had a doctorate in economics and that he could help out with ideas for the group project, the classmate said.
His education paid off for Kirsch, the Bonnie in the so-called "Bonnie and Clyde" case.
When the course professor announced that he'd be absent from class for the second midterm on Nov. 15 - and that two other Drexel professors would proctor the exam - the couple altered their routine, according to one student in the class.
On test day, Anderton, now 25, showed up and took the test, which had about eight multiple- choice questions and seven to eight open-ended queries, the student said. Kirsch, 22, was absent.
The students who saw Anderton that day figured Kirsch had told another one of her fibs because it "doesn't make sense that he'd have a doctorate and be taking the class," the classmate said.
"The boyfriend was there, we took the test. You go up, hand in the test, they started a pile, and you put them in a pile," said the student. "I don't think the [proctors] checked names or anything."
Students were required to put a name and student identification number on the front page of the test, the source said.
When the news hit on Dec. 3 that the pair had been arrested for their alleged involvement in an identity-theft scam from their two-bedroom Center City apartment, some of the students realized that their "classmate" was an Ivy League graduate.
The next day, another classmate asked the professor, "Do you know that the boyfriend sat in our class every day?" that classmate told the Daily News. The professor didn't, she said.
"He was like, 'No,' " the classmate said.
" 'He sat back there every day,' " she said she had told him. "He was like, 'I never even noticed,' " the student said.
Then, she had a whammy for the professor: "We think he took the midterm for her because you weren't here and she wasn't here either."
The professor said he'd look into the matter, both classmates said.
"I can't comment on that," said the professor when reached by phone in his office yesterday. "I think it would be inappropriate to comment on my students."
Drexel officials declined comment as well.
The crafty couple now are facing matters more serious than alleged test-cheating. They were arrested Nov. 30 at a UPS Store on Spruce near 37th while picking up a package from England containing lingerie. The UPS mailbox and the underwear were courtesy of their unsuspecting neighbor's credit.
The dynamic duo were charged with identity theft, conspiracy, unlawful use of a computer and making terroristic threats, police said. The FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are assisting Philadelphia police in the investigation.
The couple were re-arrested Wednesday on burglary charges.
This morning their hearing is expected to be continued until Feb. 12 when the court will hold a protracted preliminary hearing for Anderton and Kirsch, said her lawyer Ronald Greenblatt.
Cops believe that the couple entered at least two apartments in the Center City condo building, the Belgravia, on Chestnut Street near 18th, allegedly stealing a passport and old billing statements. Police found plenty in their $3,000-a-month apartment: $17,500 in cash; three lockboxes; 2,500 plastic cards that are used to make driver's licenses; spyware software; four computers; one scanner, and an industrial-size machine that makes driver's licenses. The couple also had copies of all the mailbox keys in the building and keys to most of the units.
Anderton and Kirsch met in September 2006, and nine months later moved into the Belgravia.
Kirsch had a colorful history within the Drexel community that usually involved her changing history and missing items, according to former classmates and friends.
She spoke of a harsh upbringing in Lithuania and her journey to the United States, some friends said. The violet-eyed student, who claimed a special gene in Lithuania gave its inhabitants purple eyes, admitted to a friend that she wore violet contacts. She rarely spoke of her past, always looking ahead to the future and change. New pals were always on the horizon.
"We're all forever having friends from high school come visit," said a former close friend who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Never once did she have anybody from out of town come." *