Burglaries present security questions

November 10, 2011

Staff Reporter


Tech Police are looking at new security measures for Harper Hall after a male intruder was spotted in a dorm room Nov. 2.


Approximately 2 a.m. Nov. 2, two residents of Harper Hall on the seventh floor awoke to an unidentified black man going through their belongings in their room, according to the police report.


The two students yelled at him and he ran out, closing the door behind him.


The students had propped their door open before going to bed to let air circulate through the room, which allowed the man to gain entry into the room.


Tech Police were notified of the situation immediately, but by the time they arrived and checked the premises, the man had disappeared.


“There are several possibilities as to how he could have gotten into the dorm,” said Bill Davis, Tech assistant chief of police. “Someone could have left the door accidentally open when going in, or he could have slipped in the door before it closed.”


The next morning when the students woke up, they realized that several of their personal valuables, like driver’s licenses and credit cards, were missing.


The intruder was described as being 5’6’’-5’8’’ in height, a thin build and between 18-20 years of age.


The incident prompted residential life and Tech police to evaluate the fob system, a key-like computerized system that unlocks residence hall doors.


“Housing is in the process of placing another fob entrance in Harper Hall, and we are looking at the handicapped door, since the door stays open for longer than the others,” Davis said. “We will also be placing video cameras that will be recording the lobby and front door.”


The next night between 2-3 a.m., a man gained entrance to the Student Center, damaged the ATM machine and pried open some of the cash registers at Chik-fil-A, according to security cameras in the Student Center.


The man did not get any money because it is taken out of the registers at closing.


The man caught on camera was similar in the description to the intruder at Harper Hall.


“We are not ruling out that the two are related,” Davis said. “Some other businesses in Ruston had some burglaries as well that night.”


After looking at the security tapes from the burglary, the police report described the intruder as a black male wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt over a Tech blue coat, tan or khaki pants, and white tennis shoes.


Throughout the footage, the man would alternate having his hood on.


“There was a function going on in the Student Center that night, so a door was probably not shut all the way,” said Davis as to how the man got into the Student Center.


Davis said Tech police are still looking into both the Harper Hall and Student Center incidents.


“Tech police and our student workers are always checking buildings and keeping an eye out on any instances such as these,” he said. “If a student leaves their dorm, they need to make sure the door shuts and locks behind them to prevent these kinds of problems. If females in the residence halls don’t escort the person that comes in with them back out, then they can have free access to whatever they want.”


Email comments to gpb009@latech.edu.


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