Thick thieves

Several students in building 813 of the residence halls were burgled between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday.

All the victims’ doors were unlocked, according to a flier posted by one of the building’s resident advisers.

“Don’t assume that because you’re living in a dorm, your possessions are safe,” said U Police Chief Scott Folsom.

“If someone wants to get in, that’s always a possibility.”

Only one of the victims, Laura Hughes, reported the crime to police.

Hughes said she thought it was odd that no one else had reported anything and that notifying the police was the first thing she thought to do.

None of the other victims were available for comment.

According to the police report, about $1,000 in CDs was stolen from Hughes.

Hughes said she was with some friends in building 812 Friday night and returned to her room at around 12:30 a.m. to see her light on and her dresser moved.

She ran to her desk, where she keeps her purse, and discovered that her wallet was missing, in addition to her stereo and phone charger.

“I was pissed about that,” she said. “Just leave me the decency of being able to charge my phone.”

Hughes said someone found her wallet in the parking lot the next day. Her VISA card, driver’s license and Albertson’s card were missing.

She also said she thought the thief’s choice of items was odd, considering several of her other credit cards were left in her wallet, while something as trivial as her Albertson’s card was taken.

Hughes added that her camera, which she valued at $400, was left behind as well, though she kept it in the same drawer as her purse.

Blair Porter, Hughes’ roommate, said her room was unlocked as well, but nothing was stolen. Porter attributed her luck to her messy room.

“I bet they looked in my room and were like, ‘Whoa, no way,'” she said.

Both Porter and Hughes said they felt violated.

“I think it’s kind of stupid. We’re all college students. Why are we stealing from each other?” said Emily Merola, a junior psychology student who lives in the burgled building.

Folsom said the thefts were probably a matter of someone walking around and seeing the opportunity.

Hughes and Porter said they both thought the thief was not a girl because none of their jewelry was taken.

“Usually a girl will go right for the jewelry,” Porter said.

She added that in her own, unprotected jewelry box were her grandmother’s pearls and rings given to her by her mother. To her, these items are “worth a lot more than the money for [a] stereo.”

Sophomore Brooke Musat, a friend of Porter’s who lives in 813, said she saw “two scruffy, old-looking men” loading something into a truck in the Sage Point parking lot around 10:30 or 11 the night of the burglaries, and reported the tip to police.

U Police Det. Troy Martinez said the thief, if caught, would face third-degree felony charges.

Stayner Landward, dean of students, said the university would also take action against the perpetrator. Such disciplinary action includes restitution and a “learning component, such as writing letters of apology,” Landward said, adding that he would want to involve the victim.

The retribution would vary, depending on “how the victim would like to solve it,” he said.

Hughes said she would “punch him in the face.”

She added that she was just kidding, and that really, “I just want my stuff back.”

Anyone with information regarding the burglaries, or any crime on campus, can call 585-COPS (585-2677) or go to the campus police Web site, www.uupd.utah.edu. Students can also notify any resident adviser of any crimes or strange occurrences in the residence halls.

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Police Chief’s Tips for Protecting Your Possessions

1. Lock your doors.2. Don’t leave anything lying out.3. Don’t advertise that you have expensive things.4. Don’t assume that your possessions are safe just because you are living in the residence halls.