By Elizabeth Hogan
On Oct. 15 Erin Mikson’21 and her roommates were woken up by Public Safety officers banging on their door to tell them that their home in the 300s had just been broken into for the second time this semester.
In the early morning hours of that day burglaries occurred in multiple 300’s townhouses and an unlawful entry occurred in a 200’s townhouse. They are the most recent in a string of similar incidents that have occurred this semester, including burglaries on Oct. 8 and an unlawful entry to Residence Hall IV on Sept. 16.
“What was taken was very weird: wine was taken from our fridge and placed in our neighbor’s house, my roommate’s jacket was taken and was laying outside of our neighbor’s house, and my other roommate’s longboard was stolen which had still yet to be found,” Mikson said about the Oct. 8 incident.
“Our friend had left their speaker in our house and that was taken, as well as another parka,” she explained.” That time someone Live-Safed a suspicious man on campus and Pub Safe came to our house and chased the person who broke in and the speaker and jacket were dropped during the chase. So everything was returned except the longboard.”
“There have been four different instances where residential spaces have been entered by an unknown person,” said Doug Babcock, the director of Public Safety, explaining that in total, about 11 residences have been entered.
“It’s not atypical for multiple houses to be hit in a run, but it’s rare that we have incidents this week and then next week,” Babcock said.
Kenzie Traska’s had a similar experience to Mikson as her 200’s townhouse was unlawfully entered, but nothing was stolen.
“Our doors were unlocked but we were all home except one of us, so we thought that it was okay. When the incident occurred two of my roommates had just gone to bed and I stepped out for five minutes and I walked back in and there was a man in my living room. I was afraid of him and he was afraid of me, we both screamed and he ran out the door,” said Traska ’21 “We were really lucky, since I walked in at the time he didn’t end up taking anything.”
According to the email sent out by public safety, entry into the buildings was made through unlocked doors in some cases and is still under investigation in others. “The very first thing students should do at all times is lock their doors and windows, and that is to both houses and cars. Second is any student living in a residence hall should make sure they do not prop or hold the door open for somebody else that they don’t know belongs in that space. I also encourage students to use the LiveSafe app to report at the time they see something,”Babcock said.
“Public Safety and the RD came back to check on us the day after it happened which was nice,” Traska said. “Pub safe also came back again at night to make sure we were okay which is great, but other than that we really haven’t heard anything from anyone else or gotten anything about staying safe since this is such an issue this semester.”
“On Oct. 8 our door was unlocked, but I am still not sure how we were broken into again on Oct. 15 seeing as the front and back door were locked,”Mikson said. Since the most recent break in, her townhouse has new locks installed on each of the doors, curtains were added, and they have been diligent about having their doors always locked.
“I did sign up to live in the threes where we have no Knight card access and people can just walk onto campus and enter if the door is unlocked. It is our own fault for not locking our doors, but it definitely gave me a reality check,” Mikson said. “I was very uncomfortable sleeping here knowing someone just walked into my house in the middle of the night. But the way Pub Safe handled everything, such as more check-ins and the Pub Safe car driving on three’s field, did make me feel safer.”