UP investigates burglary

University Police has a lead in the University Suites burglary that reportedly occurred over spring break, according to Bobby Wince, captain of the patrol division, but he said he is unsure if it will develop into a resolution of the case. Housing Director Peter Trentacoste confirmed that his office was asked for more information. No arrests have been made. The burglary prompted University Police to issue a campus-wide crime alert.

Meanwhile, University Housing recently reported another possible burglary in Kentucky Hall that occurred more than one month ago. The alleged victims have not corroborated the report.

Kentucky Hall Director Wayne Centers reported a possible burglary in the B-wing that occurred on Feb. 24. The report claims that a laptop computer screen was punched in, causing $500 in damage, and a bag of groceries, valued at $20, was stolen.

According to Trentacoste, the Housing officials are not sure whether an actual burglary happened. Students reported an incident to their resident assistant, Christina Holmes, and after reviewing incident reports, Trentacoste said his office advised the Kentucky Hall staff to file a police report.

“I had received some information from a student staff member that they suspected that a room on their floor may have been broken into,” said Wayne Centers, residence hall director for Kentucky and Commonwealth Halls. After encouraging the students to report the break-in, and some time passed, Centers contacted University Police “to make sure one more opportunity had been taken to provide the alleged victims an opportunity to report and that we had done all we could to assist.”

An officer, James Black, was sent to the room after Housing notified police.

In the police report, the officer stated that Holmes reported that the door for the room was “messed up” and the handle detached and worked improperly. Also, Holmes told the officer that the roommates did not get along.

The report also stated that the two students who reported the incident to Housing couldn’t be contacted. Trentacoste said the students were left information to follow-up with the police on their own.

Trentacoste emphasized that Housing took this case forward.

“The students did not take that forward and were hesitant to do so,” Trentacoste said. He explained that Housing decided to file the report because they are not equipped to investigate or deal with criminal matters like burglaries, and that is best left to the University Police.

Despite this incident, Centers said he believes Kentucky Hall is safe. Students must use swipe cards to access their wings of the building. However, Centers also encouraged students to keep their rooms locked anytime they leave and to always keep their keys in their possession.

“We believe students should be empowered to make their own decisions while we serve as supporters, encouragers and resources,” Centers said. He also said in that same spirit, he is planning on holding a personal safety awareness program in the near future.

The case is being investigated as theft by unlawful taking under $300, criminal mischief in the second degree, and burglary in the second degree.

Wince said there is no reason to believe the two burglaries are connected in any way. He also said he was not able to provide much additional information about the Kentucky Hall alleged burglary and the other captain was out of town on vacation. Anyone with information about these reported burglaries may contact University Police at (859)572-5500.