Dorm larcenies increase, burglaries do not

Anne Buie

There have already been three reports of burglary and 21 reports of larceny this year, according to university police’s crime statistics.

In 2010 and 2011, there were 33 and 19 reported larceny crimes in residence halls respectively.

“Burglary is when somebody enters a building illegally with the purpose of either stealing something or to commit a crime,” Chief of ASU Police Gunther Doerr said. “Larceny is when you’re in a place where you are allowed to be, such as a party, and commit a crime.”

Appalachian’s residence halls experienced five burglaries in 2010, and one in 2011.

Burglary doesn’t even have to be forced entry. Doerr said incidences tend to happen when students don’t lock their dorm room.

Director of University Housing Tom Kane said students were willing to “sacrifice a level of safety” by not locking their room doors.

“They leave doors unlocked whether they are in the room, down the hall or even out of the building,” Kane said. “This creates an environment for crimes of opportunity, specifically people entering empty and unlocked rooms to take property which is not their’s.”

Coordinator for University Housing Jason Timpson said he thought the reason students don’t lock their door was because they are caught up in the “App Family.”

“That leads everyone to believe that everybody here or everybody who comes here has your best interest at and that’s just not the reality,” Timpson said.

Timpson said students are caught up in the community on their floor and not who is in the building, which isn’t safe.

“I try to explain to them that you feel like where you grew up was safe but you didn’t leave your house and car unlocked when you’re not there,” Timpson said.

University Housing does a lockout campaign from year to year, Timpson said.

“We work with the police and go around a test door knobs and see if it is locked or unlocked,” Timpson said. “Then with the ones we find unlocked, we lock them and leave them a note that says that you could have been robbed at this point.”

He said a lockout campaign should happen in the coming weeks for Coltrane Hall residences.

“I don’t think it’s a large issue,” Timpson said. “But if people are not aware than it can become an issue because things are getting smaller and electronics are getting more expensive and are easier to sell.”


Story: ANDREW CLAUSEN, News Reporter