Sept. 28, 1995

current issue
archive / search

    Reward for info on burglaries; two 'cat burglars' arrested

    Reward for info on computer thefts The University is offering a reward of $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who have stolen computers and other office equipment from campus offices in recent months.

    Anyone with such information should call Detective Cavanaugh at Area One Chicago Police, 747-8384. All calls will be treated in confidence.

    Rudolph Nimocks, Executive Director of University Police and Campus Security, urges anyone who observes suspicious activity to immediately call University Police at 123 from campus phones, at 702-8181 from any phone, or by using one of the white emergency phones.

    In response to the burglaries, the Physical Plant Department is reviewing plans to replace locks and change alarm codes as well as devise new cleaning schedules for the buildings, and University Police have increased the number of walk-through patrols of the buildings during the evening hours.

    The most recent burglary was during the weekend of Sept. 9 in the offices of East Asian Languages & Civilizations on the third floor of Wieboldt. Five computers, three printers, a VCR and other items were taken. Previous burglaries took place in offices on the third floor of Classics, on May 5 and June 9, when computers and other equipment were taken; in Pick Hall, on June 20 and Aug. 31; and in an office of Goodspeed on July 28.

    "We deployed additional police for external and internal patrol of the buildings, but these burglars knew their way around and knew the best times to strike," Nimocks said. "We have increased our manpower on campus, and the new measures being considered by the Plant Department should help. Faculty and staff members can help by securing their offices, not lending their keys to others, not divulging alarm codes and making sure alarms are turned on when they leave their offices.

    "Of course, quick notification of the police is crucial, whether a theft has already occurred or you have witnessed suspicious activity. We will investigate all calls immediately."

    'Cat burglar' arrested Police are confident that two recent arrests have solved a series of "cat burglaries" in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood neighborhood. The two suspects, working separately, are believed to be responsible for as many as 21 residential break-ins that began in mid-July. A "cat burglar" is an individual who enters residences during late-night or early-morning hours while occupants are at home.

    While crimes against persons declined a total of 21 percent for the first eight months of the year -- with robberies down 23 percent -- the neighborhood experienced a 16 percent increase in property crimes, compared with the same time period in 1994. A 20 percent rise in burglaries and a 37 percent increase in thefts from autos contributed to the property crime increase. The recent arrests are expected to stem the upsurge in burglaries, said Robert Mason, Executive Director of the SECC.

    Prevention is the best defense against all types of crime, Mason said. Robberies are best thwarted by traveling with companions, and burglaries can often be averted by locking windows and doors.