Robberies continue to plague West Quad

BY JEREMY BERKOWITZ
Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 1, 2002

Only days after LSA freshman Garth Wisdom turned himself over to campus police in connection with several robberies in West Quad Residence Hall, it appears crime problems in the hall have not ceased.

Another home invasion occurred Wednesday night when a man entered a West Quad resident's room and demanded money, according to a crime alert issued by the Department of Public Safety yesterday. After the resident complied, the man went to another room down the hall and took a wallet, but returned the wallet to its place once the resident entered the room. The suspect then fled the hall.

The suspect was described as a 5-foot-10, 240-pound black man in his mid-30s, with a scruffy goatee and crooked teeth. He was wearing a black cap, a red coat, green pants and black work boots.

"We were able to develop a pretty specific description from witness accounts," Department of Public Safety Lieutenant Robert Neuman said.

Neuman added the suspect did not have a weapon.

"There have been no arrests yet. We continue to investigate leads," he said.

This is the second crime alert issued for a home invasion this semester. On the morning of Oct. 4, a man entered a room in Mary Markley Residence Hall and tampered with the television set. He left the room when the resident woke up.

The resident described the 18-year-old suspect as a 5-foot-8, 150-pound white man. He was thin with light colored hair and wore a red polo shirt, a silver watch and possibly blue jeans.

Last semester, DPS issued 14 crime alerts, 10 of which were for incidents of home invasion. In February, DPS locked residence hall doors 24-hours a day and implemented other security initiatives in order to cut down on crime.

Crime in the residence halls continued into the semester, prompting DPS to investigate further measures to make students feel safe. At the June meeting of the University Board of Regents, DPS presented proposals to install archival video cameras at all entrances of residence halls and install automatic door locks over the next two years.

At the time, Ian Steinman noted the importance of making students feel safe, while at the same time, not trying to intrude on their privacy.

"We're trying to balance the appropriate level of security with culture and the community," Steinman said.

Students in West Quad felt divided as to how effective the new measures will be.

"I feel safe but I do realize people let unknown people into the building all the time," LSA sophomore Kyle Stock said. "Automatic door locks will probably just lock more people out."

LSA freshman Marques Streety said he believes that as long as students are more cautious about their surroundings, crime will drop and the new measures will help.

- Daily Staff Reporter Maria Sprow contributed to this report.