CSUN police seeks dorm burglar

Brian De Los Santos

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A window in building four was barricaded after it was burglarized Feb. 17. Photo Credit: Quan Luong / Staff Reporter

CSUN police services are searching for the suspect who broke into and burglarized two dormitories Thursday night at University Park Apartment complex.

The suspect broke into first-floor apartments of buildings four and 14. He broke the bedroom windows, entered the rooms and stole laptop computers and other electronics.

Police officials said they have no reason to believe the victims were specifically targeted.

CSUN police services are not sure if the same suspect is responsible for both burglaries. The two cases are being investigated separately.

“We have some leads that can possibly help us identify the suspect,” said Sgt. Detective Mark Benavidez.

According to CSUN police, an anonymous witness spotted the suspect near the broken bedroom window, but was threatened by the suspect.

The suspect was wearing a grey hooded CSUN sweatshirt, dark jeans and carried a black backpack.

Benavidez said that two officers who were patrolling the dorms found a broken bedroom window and notified the residents in the apartment.

Some dormitory residents are alarmed, like freshman Tifanny Lantello, who lives in university housing

“I do not feel safe anymore,” said the 18-year-old music major.

Lantello said that when she heard of the incidents late last week, she checked the perimeter around her apartment’s windows and found a window screen “touched and left on the floor.”

Other students say that dormitory burglaries are an ongoing issue.

Junior Shari Williams, a resident advisor for building 15 said residents leave the doors, windows and patio doors open

“Residents think it will not happen to them,” said the 20-year-old deaf studies major.

Vince Racho, 20, believe the first floor of any building is a target for theft.

“Living in the second or third floor is much safer,” said the business major who lives on campus.

Twenty-nine dormitory burglaries were reported in 2010.

Many students were not yet aware of Thursday’s burglaries.

Audrey Ritcher, 21, cinema television-arts major, who lives in building 14, where one of the break-ins occurred, said she was not notified of the burglary.

“I thought this was supposed to be one of the safer buildings since the police office is in front of the building,” Ritcher said.

Campus police and Student Housing work hand-in-hand when crimes occur at University Park, said Franklin Ellis, coordinator of student success and leadership from Student Housing. .

“Posters went up today to notify students,” he said. “We try to notify students with every means possible.”

Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and community relations officer, said students can read the police department’s website, sign up for the daily crime log e-mail, browse through copies posted with housing and communicate with the RA’s.

“Students might say, I did not see anything, but that does that not mean the information is not there,” Villalobos said.

Police officials said they could not disclose additional information about the burglaries because investigations are still underway.

They advise students to contact the department at (818) 677-2111 if they see any suspicious activities or are victims of a break-in.