Ten reported instances of burglaries occurred at unsecured off-campus residences as of Oct. 9 according to the Marquette University Police Department.
There is evidence that ties a number of these burglaries to one person, said MUPD Captain Jeff Kranz.
The subject enters through an unlocked door and removes small electronics such as Xboxes, laptops and cell phones. The main targeted area is north of Wells Street, 13th to 20th Streets, from around 12-6 a.m.
“This guy is not doing anything other than jiggling door handles, (going) inside and (taking) whatever he can get quickly. Students are leaving their doors unlocked and it is what (he) is targeting, he isn’t crawling through windows or kicking locks,” Captain Kranz said. “(Locking) your doors is the best piece of advice I can give; there has been no forced entry.”
Armeen Shahriar, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was in his home of the Sigma Chi house on 14th and Kilbourn Avenue on Oct. 6 around 1:10 p.m. when an intruder entered through the fire escape door. The door had a lock, but was rusty and needed a firm press to shut all the way.
Shahriar was in the second floor bathroom during the time in which the intruder was able to take his backpack that contained a computer, notebooks, folders, documents for Marquette courses and work, a laptop, two sets car keys, two watches and an Xbox One.
“I was in the bathroom for probably five minutes or so, meaning this all happened very quickly and presumably quietly,” Shahriar said.
MUPD arrived to the house at 1:25 and spent a fair amount of time looking around, Shahriar said. However, residents said they felt that if the officers had responded via squad car and searched the surrounding area, they would have had a better chance of locating the thief and their belongings.
The following day, an MUPD officer returned to the house with the car keys that had been left at another house on campus that was burgled. Since the incident, Shahriar and his roommates have had new locks installed on all of their doors.
According to MUPD, robberies and burglaries in 2016 dropped 28 percent and 53 percent in year-over-year comparisons.
“We have had incidents in years before, but we have never seen a cluster. (This) is why we believe it is one individual who thinks he can keep doing it until we catch them,” Captain Kranz said.
Clare Lumetta, a freshman in the College of Business Administration, said she believes burglaries like this are a part of living in a city.
“This makes me a little concerned, but honestly, I expected incidents like this,” Lumetta said. “Campus is safe and you just have to be careful with your things, whether you live in a dorm or off-campus.”