CAMPUS ON ALERT: Recent string of thefts threaten security

By DENISE SEYFER
seyferd@mtmary.edu

PrintOn Nov. 13, freshman Kadesia Hill left her dorm room for about 10 minutes between 10:15-10:30 p.m. and she did not lock her door. When she returned, her dorm room was torn apart.

“Stuff was everywhere,” Hill said. “Jackets and clothes were thrown [around]. My keys were on the floor.”

Someone stole $625 of her tuition money, which was in a wallet that she had hidden underneath a binder inside a desk drawer. Hill said she had just gone to the ATM in Caroline Hall earlier that week.

“You never know who’s watching you when you use the ATM,” Hill said.

This incident marks the fifth theft in the past five weeks on the Mount Mary University campus. The incident is still under investigation, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.

Christina McCanna, Hall’s roommate, was the second victim. She lost $200 in the same incident.

Milwaukee police officers swabbed the desk in their room for fingerprints. There were smudges, but the police could not determine enough details from the print, Hill said.

Six days later, on Nov. 19, cash was stolen from the visitor’s locker room in the Bloechl Center between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

“It was a small amount of cash,” said Paul Leshok, director of Mount Mary Public Safety. “Things weren’t locked up.”

Previously, on Oct. 17, a thief stole two students’ items — a computer and charger, a debit card and a driver’s license — which were left unlocked and unattended in the women’s athletic locker room at the Bloechl Center during the volleyball team’s 4:30 p.m. practice. Shortly over an hour later, approximately $800 was charged to the card from H.H. Gregg in Greenfield, Wis. charged at Sports Authority.

Public safety is continuing to help prevent crimes from occurring on campus. An advisory went out in the daily announcements to students and staff on Friday, Nov. 22 alerting everyone of the thefts and warning to kept valuables secure.

In response to the thefts, the cable for approximately 25 security cameras will be installed during winter break, according to Leshok.

New security measures have been put in place this past month, such as increased patrols around campus and locking the west door of the Bloechl Center. Visitors can now only enter through the east main door.

“We are an open campus,” Leshok said. “Not everyone has to check in. People only have to sign in if they are using the fitness center.”

Students also need to sign in by showing their student IDs to the worker at the information desk in Caroline Hall if they want to go up to the residence hall. They are supposed to be escorted by a resident.

However, some students recognized a flaw in the university’s security system in the Bloechl Center and in the residence hall.

“I don’t think [the desk position] does anything,” said Donielle Yendriga, a sophomore who works the sign-in desk in the Bloechl Center. “[People] can just walk straight into the gym and I can’t see them from the desk because it sits higher up and in the corner. I can’t hear anyone enter.”

There are other ways students or non-residents can access Caroline Hall without signing in or showing an identification card. A person can call a student who lives in the residence hall and have her open the basement door. Then he or she can ride up the elevator and walk around at will.

Keys to the elevator do not have a “do not duplicate” engraving on them like the stairwell key does. Anyone could make a copy of the key and get upstairs into the locked residence hall without being noticed by the information desk workers.

“I’ve been telling other people to have your keys on you and lock your room,” said Hailey Robinson, a student worker at the Caroline Hall information desk. “Be an adult. Be cautious. Lock your door.”

Graphic by RENNIE PATTERSON

 

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