November 28, 2011

Seven Burglaries Reported Near Campus Over Thanksgiving Break

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Six burglaries in the Collegetown area were reported to the Ithaca Police Department from Wednesday to Sunday. A seventh burglary was also reported to the Cornell Police over the Thanksgiving break.

There is often an increase in crime as students leave for break and vacate their apartments, said Sherry Stephenson, a dispatcher with Emergency Services.

Stephenson said she could not provide further information regarding the incidents, and the IPD did not return a request for comment on the status of the investigations.

Nate Treffeisen ’12 said that although approximately $10,000 worth of material was stolen from his house on Eddy Street, around 80 percent of it has already been recovered — largely by chance.

The first resident in his house to return from break, Treffeisen said he found his front door open and all the interior rooms, including those with bolted locks, broken into. Treffeisen’s clothes were strewn across the room, “every single drawer opened and rummaged through” and some minor personal possessions nowhere to be found.

“Our house was pretty much wrecked,” Treffeisen said. “I felt violated because I knew I was sleeping in a room where someone had just gone through all my stuff.”

However, Treffeisen said that, to his surprise, “[the burglars] just stole the weirdest things” — including “a bunch of cell phones I was going to give to charity” and his sailing gear.

Yet soon after Treffeisen took to Twitter to lament the theft, a friend of his who saw the tweet found Treffeisen’s stolen property abandoned in her dumpster. All of the his belongings were returned.

Like Treffeisen, Nikkita Mehta ’12 and Alex Kuczynski-Brown ’12, who are both Sun staff members, expressed confusion at the behavior of the burglars who stole from their apartment over break.

Mehta said that she returned from break to find her laptop, her graphic calculator, $10 in quarters, her backpack and other miscellaneous possessions missing. She said that police caught the perpetrators upon finding the prescription for her inhaler while checking backpacks in a local park.

“They took a ton of costume jewelry, which was right next to all the real jewelry … the laptop they took was my broken one, one I don’t use anymore; it’s in wingdings now,” Mehta said.

Kuczynski-Brown added that, although the robbers “didn’t take anything of value,” the incident was still unnerving.

“We’re pretty defenseless … the idea that someone could come into my apartment at any time takes away my sense of security,” Kuczynski-Brown said.

Dave Honan, deputy police chief for CUPD, said he could not comment on the IPD investigations, but said there is normally an increase in crime during breaks.

“There’s a slight uptick when students go away, so we always remind students to secure their valuables and lock their doors and windows,” Honan said.

Original Author: Jeff Stein