CSUN dorm burglaries becoming more brazen

Brian De Los Santos

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The residents at the University Park Apartments on campus have experienced a rash of burglaries that have alarmed students, CSUN police and the housing staff. However, this is not a new problem.

The latest incident in which a bedroom window was pried open before the room was ransacked and electronics were stolen, took place March 17. Three other dormitories were burglarized this month. There were 27 burglaries on the first floor of the dormitories in 2010.

“We obviously have a serious problem with burglaries in housing,” said Anne P. Glavin, chief of CSUN police. “We are working very hard confidentially behind the scenes.”

University police are working with housing management to apprehend the suspect(s).

Police officials said they have leads citing ongoing investigations, but declined to say what their plan of action is.

In an effort to alert residents about the recent crimes, CSUN police and housing staff held an open meeting March 24 to discuss safety procedures to prevent burglaries at the resident halls.

Christina Villalobos, public information officer and special assistant to the chief, said they offered students advice so “they could protect themselves and their property.”

“Keep your doors and window locked, keep your property out of sight, don’t leave your property unattended anywhere,” she said. “If you go home, now that spring break is approaching, take your valuables with you.”

University Park residents have mixed reactions to the recent crimes.

Freshman Bryson Wallace, 18, theater major, said he feels safe because he doesn’t live on the first floor, but is worried about the safety of those who do.

“It’s a sad truth, but it has been happening this whole year. There have been so many burglaries,” Wallace said. “I know a couple of people that got hit and their laptops are gone. A lot of valuable things they had in their dorms are missing.”

Others believe it is the responsibility of the residents to keep their dorms secured and their belongings safe.

Freshman Sheridon Gratton, 18, said the students are to blame.

“A couple incidents happened, but that’s the students’ fault,” said the mechanical engineering major.

However, some residents are concerned for their safety.

Jerry Manslo, 19, biology major, said although the dorms are gated, he does not feel safe because he lives on the first floor and is aware of the burglaries.

Destiny Lewis, 19, a resident advisor, said break-ins are harder to deal with as opposed to burglaries when people “carelessly” leave doors or windows open.

“When it comes to being broke into, it’s unfortunate,” Lewis said. “Police are not patrolling and watching because there are so many buildings.”

University police has a substation located south of UPA 14, where two police officers are tasked with patrolling the residence halls.

Housing staff tries to take measures to keep residents up to date with crime activity by posting fliers around the dorms. CSUN police issues a crime alert on their website.

“Some of this problem is due to security measures which could actually be heightened by individual students, some of it is not,” Glavin said.