Some time during the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 16 over $400 worth of video game systems, video games and DVDs was stolen from Townhouse North Crescent (NC) 3.
Residents of NC3 woke up Saturday morning to find their Nintendo Wii, video games and movies missing from their townhouse. The residents noticed their back door was unlocked and called Public Safety officers to report the crime.
Public Safety arrived and “all residents and people around at the time were questioned,” said Director of Public Safety Christopher Santiago. There was no sign of a forced entry. One of the residents of NC 3, senior Samuel Geselowitz, said, “we must have left the door unlocked.”
At first, the residents thought their friend, senior Arthur Earle, had taken the items as a practical joke to make them think they had been stolen. Earle had lent the residents of NC 3 the Wii and games that were stolen that night.
Once they called Earle and realized that it was not a joke the residents realized they had a problem. Geselowitz said, “There was a fair bit of cursing, mainly because [the Wii] was [Earle’s].”
Upon finding out someone had absconded with his property Earle said, “I just sat stewing in silent rage.”
Senior Chris Ingraham, another resident of NC 3, said “I was very surprised about the burglary….It’s very frustrating that the one night we forget to lock our doors we get robbed.”
They reported that the thief did not even take all the necessary components to use the video game system and that “it seemed like they took what they could carry with two hands” said Geselowitz.
Since the theft Earle and the residents of NC 3 have been calling pawn shops and checking local stores to see if the stolen items were sold, but have not been successful in finding anything.
Santiago said, “We don’t have any suspects. It is very probable it was committed by someone who knows the victims.” He added that the chances of the stolen property being found were fairly low.
Geselowitz was told by the responding officers that “if [the thieves] were coming from off-campus to steal, they probably would have cleaned us out.”
Following the incident the residents of NC 3 have been making sure that their doors are locked any time none of them are there. Earle said his behavior has been changed by this incident, and added, “We did not lock our door once until this happened.” Ingraham said, “I never thought of St. Mary’s as being an unsafe place. I see laptops and iPods being left alone in the library all the time.”
Santiago, commenting on this view of security, said, “Although we live in a safe community, we need to do a better job to make sure we’re not lulled into a false sense of security.”
He said that the campus culture is very trustworthy and most students do not expect incidents like this, but that it “doesn’t mean crime can’t happen here.”
He added, “Theft is a crime of opportunity…and people are stealing because they’re going to get rid of [stolen items] for money…[it] is the number one crime on every college campus in America.”
He said that students can report tips or crimes using the online forms provided through the anonymous Silent Witness program (https://www.smcm.edu/publicsafety/silentwitness.html), by calling the Public Safety office at x4911, or by stopping by the office in person.