Police identify suspect in recent campus break-ins

Sonoma State University police intend to charge an individual suspected to have committed one of two burglaries that occurred on campus this semester.  

The case is still open and the burglaries are still under investigation, though police have identified an individual whom they believe is responsible for a car burglary that occurred earlier this semester. Because the case is still under investigation, Police Services could not disclose the suspect’s name.

“The case noted in the Timely Warning is still open and under investigation,” Captain David Dougherty said. “Additionally, thanks to Corporal Leroy Swicegood’s excellent work, we will be submitting a request for charges to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office for a person we believe was responsible for an auto burglary that occurred within our jurisdiction.”

On Jan. 26, students in Tuscany Village dorm woke to find doors wide open and window busted in,  according to one of the residents, Natalie Mandeville.  Personal items including a laptop were stolen. 

Through the following days, a series of car burglaries occurred in campus parking lots.  Soon after, police services issued a warning notice addressed to student emails to create awareness and provide a message that students should exercise caution.  
According to Dougherty, measures are being taken to increase safety on campus.  

“[Campus police] seeks opportunities to communicate preventative measures to community members when potential issues are observed. [While] increasing police patrol activity in affected and other areas,” said Dougherty, “[Campus police] utilize[s] our Community Service Specialists and Parking staff to observe and report suspicious activity and persons, and contact suspicious persons who are either observed by the police officers or reported to the police by community members or other staff members.”

According to the campus crime log, just under half of all crime on campus is burglary, robbery or petty theft of some kind.  The campus crime log reported five burglaries, robberies or petty theft this month.  Since September, 56 instances of theft or burglary were reported; most of them petty theft.  
The trend of reported thefts has decreased significantly since September, at 23, comparable to all five reported thefts in January.

According to collegeparents.org, from 2010 to 2012 about 33,883 robberies and burglaries occurred in college residence halls across the United States.
Campus police have also sent out a newsletter to student with news regarding transportation around campus as well as crime prevention tips.  
Dougherty said, “We at Police and Safety Services would like to thank our community for their continued support and partnership as we work together to make Sonoma State University a safe place to learn, live, and work.”

To report a crime, students are encouraged to contact Sonoma State Police Services at 707-644-4444.