Department of Public Safety officers arrested 39-year-old Ann Arbor resident Maurice Burgens last night, in connection with crimes that occurred in West Quad and South Quad Residence Halls two weeks ago.
The first incident occurred the night of Oct. 30 when Burgens allegedly solicited money in West Quad, and then attempted to steal a wallet from a resident’s room. He returned the wallet and fled the scene once the resident returned.
The second incident happened Nov. 1 in South Quad when $135 was stolen from a resident’s wallet after a suspect asked to use the resident’s phone. The victims gave a similar suspect description to the man seen in West Quad.
Burgens was spotted in West Quad again yesterday afternoon, asking people to give him money so he could buy medicine for his wife. A West Quad resident notified DPS, who approached the suspect. After interrogating him, he admitted to the incidents. He was arraigned today in Washtenaw County Criminal Court and will have a preliminary exam Nov. 27.
“We’re anticipating he would be charged with home invasion and larceny in a building,” DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said, adding that she could not say if Burgens is connected with other recent campus crimes, including the string of home invasions and peeping tom incidents that happened last winter and spring.
“That’s being investigated,” she added.
A crime alert was issued following the Oct. 30 incident, describing the suspect as a 5-foot-10, 240-pound black man in his mid-30s with a scruffy goatee and crooked teeth. He was said to have been wearing a red work coat, black watch cap, green pants and black work boots.
Another significant arrest was made last week by DPS. After being reported trespassing in the Student Activities Building, DPS officers confronted 25-year-old Ann Arbor resident Shannon Murray in the area, and found him in the possession of a laptop, which had been taken from the Fleming Administration Building earlier that day. Brown said while some University buildings have security measures, other areas are still unprotected.
“We still have unlocked offices and areas that are providing opportunities for crime,” Brown said.
Murray was arraigned Nov. 8, given a $5,000 bond and has a preliminary examination Nov. 20.
Both Murray and Burgens have previous records. Murray was arrested in January for breaking into the Institute of Social Research and attempting to steal some tapes. He had a probationary status that did not allow him on University property. In addition, he has been arrested several times in the last two years on charges of retail fraud and public intoxication.
Burgens has a record going back to the 1980s of drug possession and larceny, although this is his first offense in several years.
Brown was unsure whether the prior records would entail stiffer sentences for the suspects if convicted.
“It would be nice,” Brown said. “It’s up to the legal system and court system.”