Ollie Gratzinger | editor-in-chief
Sometime between 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6 and 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, an unidentified man broke into a Duquesne building and committed burglary. Campus police are requesting assistance in identifying the suspect.
A university laptop, credit card and petty cash were stolen from an office on the 6th floor of College Hall when the suspect allegedly pried open the door with a flat-tipped tool, according to Chief of Duquesne Police and Director of Public Safety Thomas Hart. The stolen university credit card was used to make purchases at a local Walmart.
The victim in this crime is not any one individual, but rather “the university community,” according to Hart.
The university sent out a series of emails over the course of the past week, informing the campus community that Duquesne Public Safety “has acquired sufficient evidence to obtain an affidavit of probable cause necessary for an
arrest warrant,” and that Pittsburgh Police and various crime watch organizations are already on alert.
In the email blasts, the person of interest was pictured in yellow and black shoes, a black Michael Kors shirt and black Nike pants, as well as a silver and black Michael Kors backpack. The individual has a goatee and eyeglasses, as well.
On the evening of Feb. 6, the suspect accessed College Hall, Mellon Hall and Rockwell Hall, exiting onto Forbes Avenue. He then passed through the Forbes surface parking lot until he exited campus, according to the email.
Despite the incident, Hart said Duquesne still remains a safe campus, and that Duquesne Police are working hard to keep it that way.
“The safety and security of students, faculty, staff and visitors on our campus is of top importance. Members of the Public Safety department patrol campus by vehicle, bike and on foot, maintaining a highly visible deterrence presence while monitoring for anything suspicious,” he said. “Department personnel have extensive training to safeguard campus and provide a variety of crime prevention and safety programs to the community.”
He suggested that students should sign up for the Duquesne University Emergency Alert System to be notified of developing situations on campus via text, email or phone, if they aren’t enrolled already. This system administers alerts to the student and a possible emergency contact in the event of an emergency or crime on campus or in the nearby neighborhood.
Hart also said that students should be aware of risks and take precautions to safeguard not only their personal belongings, but each other, as well.
“Never let someone you don’t know into your residence hall or a locked campus building, and never prop doors open. Protect your stuff. Keep your belongings in view at all times.”
“Be safe online! It’s too easy to share personal information online. Avoid updates on websites that share your location or personal information. Keep your settings private,” he said.
He also suggested that members of the campus community store user names, passwords, bank account and other confidential information in a secure place, and report it right away if you happen to lose a key or ID card with swipe access that could allow whoever finds it entry into an academic building or residence hall.
Students and faculty should also keep a file of all important phone numbers and line extensions in their cell and at least one other place, in case the phone is also stolen.
“This includes campus security/police and the telephone numbers to your bank and credit card company,” Hart said.
If you have any information on the suspect’s name or identity, Duquesne Police are encouraging you to contact Public Safety at (412) 396-2677, and as always, if you see something suspicious or feel that you’re in danger, call 911.