April 25, 2010

Collegetown Burglary Keeps Residents on Edge

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Residents of 201 Collegetown Court, apartment 201, were nursing off a night of partying when they got a knock on their door at 5:15 a.m.  Sunday morning. Elizabeth Manapsal ’10, who is also a Sun senior writer, opened the door to find several police officers, with a suspect in detention and questions needing to be answered.

“At five a.m., the police were banging on our door,” Deborah Tan ‘10, who is a former Sun Design Editor, said. “They asked to check to see if anything was missing.”

The police officers said they saw the suspect fleeing the apartment after being called by a neighboring apartment, where a woman had woken up to find an unknown man in her room. At first, Manapsal was skeptical, and after a quick survey of her valuables, she noticed nothing missing. However, after spotting a handle of citron vodka on the floor in the hallway by the policemen, the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

Manapsal identified the handle as belonging to the tenants of the apartment; also found on the detained thief was an iPod and handheld camera, both of which were identified as belonging to the residents of the apartment.

The suspect, Stephen R. Pink, was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, as well as burglary and illegal entry into a dwelling, according to a press release from Ithaca Police Department.

Though the apartment residents are relieved that their valuables are returned and the culprit is in custody, there is still frustration over the security system of Collegetown Court, which residents say was not strong enough to keep out the criminals in the first place.

“I’m really angry about the renting company,” Manapsal said, referring to Ithaca Renting Company, which owns a slew of Collegetown apartment complexes. According to Manapsal, the buzzer system for entering the building had been out of commission for a month. “They need to be more vigilant about staying on top of the [buzzer system].”

Also in question is the suspect who was the original source of the call to the police, who has yet to be found. The Ithaca Police Department urge any Collegetown resident with information about this second suspect, or who believe their apartment may have been entered, to contact them at 607-272-9973.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle