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ISSUE 119 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/14/2005

Burglaries reported

By Jean Mullins
News Editor

Friday, October 14, 2005

On Sept. 14, an iPod music player was stolen from an unlocked room in Hoyme Hall. The next day, Sept. 15, a digital camera was stolen from another unlocked Hoyme room. A few weeks later on Oct. 3, the concession stand at Manitou Field was burgled of $150-200 worth of candy and soft drinks.

Fred Behr, director of Public Safety, said that none of these burglaries seem to be forcible entries. The burglars entered through an unlocked or open door in the Hoyme cases. In the case of the Manitou Field concession stand, there was no sign of forcible entry, indicating that the burglars may have had a key. But, Behr said a search done by Public Safety after the incident revealed that some windows were "not as secure as they could be."

Behr explained that, depending on whether the incident was a forced entry and how much was stolen, the Northfield Police may investigate. Behr also said that Public Safety does its own investigation, by questioning students.

"Most of the time that doesn’t produce anything," Behr said.

While he noted that the concession stand burglary was unusual, Behr said that residence hall burglaries are not. He explained that students "get into such a trust level" in residence halls that they tend to leave doors unlocked or open when they are not there. However, when students misread the security of their residence hall, it makes burglaries and thefts more likely.

Behr said that, while students are sometimes responsible for the burglaries or thefts, guests can also be responsible. Public Safety will question residents about unfamiliar persons in the residence hall around the time of the burglary.

Information made available to students through the Clery Act, an informational act that requires the college to inform students of crime statistics on campus, shows that in 2002, there were 12 burglaries on campus, with 11 being nonforcible entry and one being forcible entry.

In 2003, there were seven forcible entries and eight nonforcible entries to make a total of 15 burglaries. Last year, in 2004, there were six burglaries, five nonforcible and one forcible.

Also outlined in the Clery Act are the policies by which students are notified of crimes on campus. Behr notes that all crimes of a more serious nature, such as burglaries or sexual assaults, are communicated to students by email. Occasionally, students are notified of lesser crimes, such as petty thefts, if there is a high frequency or some other unusual characteristic of these crimes.

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