Monday, March 1, 2021
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Bold Robberies Shake Campus Community

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Mary-Elizabeth Pratt ’15
@MaryElizPratt

This past weekend, at around 1 a.m. Saturday, a Wittenberg student was robbed at gunpoint while walking on campus.

In a high priority email sent to campus, Chief Mark Lopez informed students that three males wearing “dark hoodies” robbed a student at the corner of Woodlawn Ave. and Ferncliff Pl. Although a primary email stated that the three males fled in a small black Honda, a later email clarified that the suspects were seen in a silver Pontiac two-door.

While the first email sent to campus indicated one male Wittenberg student was robbed, an email sent at 3:30 a.m. implied that there were two victims, both of whom “felt as though the weapon was potentially a toy gun.”

Finally, Lopez emphasized that while there was no immediate threat to other Wittenberg students following the armed robbery, the suspects were still at large as of Saturday morning and that if students must travel, they should be aware of their surroundings and “use caution.”

This is not the first burglary that has affected campus since the beginning of the semester.  On Sunday afternoon, Lopez sent out another campus-wide email stating that “two complaints have been filed with the Wittenberg University Police/Security Office of thefts from residence” over the weekend.

Both of these complaints indicated that several electronic devices were taken from their residence between the hours of 12 a.m and 10 a.m.

There are numerous similarities between this past weekend’s complaints and two incidents that occurred the weekend of Jan. 17 and 18.

 

On the evening of Jan. 17, John Uecker, ’14,  and Jarred Wissinger, ’15, had a gathering at their home on West College Dr. with various members of the campus community. After the gathering, it was found that several items, like iPads and and iPods, were stolen from upstairs bedrooms that had been forcibly entered into, believed to have been done by non-Wittenberg students.

“They took my golf club and threw it into the door,” said Uecker of the incident.

The following evening, at the same house, while two of the residents were still home, several men gained entry into the house and stole more electronics while the two men barricaded themselves inside of the house and called police. The intruders were spooked by the residents, but stole over $4,000 worth of goods.

“For our house, it was very upsetting because we provide a place for college students to come and hang out almost every weekend, and for someone to abuse that twice in one weekend just shows how ignorant they are,” said Uecker. “The good thing is that no one was hurt. It’s unfortunate we will no longer be throwing social gatherings in our house because of this, though.”

“Make sure you watch who you’re letting into your parties,” said Interim Chief of Police Lt. Mark Lopez. “Students need to hold themselves and their housemates accountable. If you’re the last person leaving, make sure all of the doors are locked.”

Students who have problems with exterior or interior door locks are urged to contact Physical Plant. According to Lopez, Mike Brady, Assistant Vice President of Physical Plant makes doors, especially exterior doors to homes, a major priority to upholding the safety and security of residents and their goods.

Lopez’s warnings are not lost on students, though. Many students who live in off-campus residences have been more vigilant about the security of their rooms during parties.

Students who often have friends over on the weekends, like Cam Chambers, ’14, are more aware of who is around them, even when people are often in and out of gatherings.

“We just keep an eye on who is coming in and out of the house. We make sure we know them,” said Chambers.

Lopez encourages students to call University Police and Security at (937) 327-6231 with any questions or concerns. University Police will focus on the issues of break-ins or other disturbances during a social gathering and advise that students report any possible issues.

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