On Oct. 24, 2014, the Thomson Corner Store was broken into and $100 was stolen from the cash register. The intruder gained entrance to the store by smashing one of the door’s windows. This mode of entry is consistent with many break-ins that would take place in the months to follow.
On Dec. 2, a window in the Smith Dining Hall was smashed, although nothing was taken. The Hamilton-Williams Campus Center was broken into on Dec. 13. This time the intruder entered by breaking a door. Initially, nothing was found to be damaged or missing.
“On Dec. 14, it was discovered that a TV had been taken from The Marketplace,” Richard Morman, an investigator for Public Safety, said. Morman believes the stolen TV was not discovered until the following day because The Marketplace was far from where the intruder had entered.
On Dec. 23, the Thompson Corner Store was broken into again. This time the intruder made away with an envelope of $50.
The following day, Smith Dining Hall was burglarized yet again. The same window that was smashed during the earlier break-in was destroyed with a brick. A television valued at $500 was stolen.
Three days later, on Dec. 27, an intruder gained entrance to Welch Residence Hall through an open window. According to Robert Wood, director of PS, the window was in the Welch kitchen. There PS officers “found a safe that was broken into, however was empty.”
On Jan. 9 Smith Dining Hall was burglarized for the third time. Another television was stolen, bringing the count of stolen televisions to 3. According to Morman, “Chartwells is currently in the process of replacing them.”
PS officers and investigators are working diligently to figure out who is responsible for the break-ins. Wood said they “have persons of interest” who they believe are connected to the case.
“There is no indication of these persons of interests to be OWU students because students were on their winter break during the time of the break-ins,” Wood said.
“During this time, Public Safety struggled with the decision of whether or not to send out a Public Safety alert to Ohio Wesleyan students,” Morman said. He elaborated that it is the responsibility of PS to not only keep students safe, but to avoid unnecessary panic.
“The breaks-ins on campus are extremely concerning, however, I am confident that Public Safety will soon find the people doing this,” senior Ali Smith said.
PS does not believe these incidents to be indicators of great danger. Regardless, Morman advises students to “go by your instincts; if you see something suspicious, report it.” Wood said to take precaution and “never let anyone into the buildings on campus.”