Intruder apparently enters BR suite

An unidentified intruder apparently entered a Branford suite early Monday morning and set off an alarm when he fled through a fire door, Branford resident Cara Goldenberg ’02 said. The reported incident occurred just two days after a male suspect entered a Pierson student’s room and robbed him early Saturday.

Branford College Master Steven Smith said Monday night he had been in contact with Yale police, who were investigating the Branford incident.

“We’re not sure that it was an intruder,” Smith said. “We don’t know for sure.”

Goldenberg said although no one actually saw an intruder, she and suitemate Gabrielle Chassagne ’02 had pieced together much of the incident from physical evidence left behind. After being awakened by the alarm at about 3:30 a.m., they found that a fire door inside Chassagne’s bedroom had been opened while she slept, pushing aside audio-visual equipment that was up against the door in the next suite.

The intruder also left fingerprints on the door and footprints nearby, Goldenberg said.

Yale Police Chief James Perrotti could not be reached Tuesday night for comment on the new incident, but Goldenberg said detectives had surveyed the room and dusted for fingerprints.

Goldenberg said she and Chassagne first believed that an actual fire had started and evacuated the room when the alarm went off, but returned a few minutes later. She called Yale security shortly afterward, when they became concerned that there might be an intruder in the suite and then called Yale police’s emergency number about 20 minutes after that.

But she said it took yet another phone call to the emergency number before police officers responded to the scene, about 40 minutes after the initial call to security.

“I’m pretty irritated with whoever is at 111,” Goldenberg said.

Goldenberg said the door to her suite had been propped open and added that any intruder would have had to pass a wallet and other valuables before entering the bedroom.

“People usually stick to the common room, but this guy had 300 bucks in cash if he wanted it.” she said. “Instead he went to the bedroom.”

If Goldenberg’s suppositions regarding the incident are accurate, it would mark the second early-morning intrusion into a suite in two days.

An unidentified robber broke into a Pierson suite around 5:30 a.m. Friday and made off with about $10 after threatening a Pierson senior with a gun that he never displayed.

The residents of the suite did not return phone calls Monday night.

Police are still investigating that incident Perrotti said Monday afternoon. He said the robber was “certainly not a student” based on his description.

The robber apparently climbed over two gates near the back of the Yale Cabaret and into a small courtyard before entering the room through the window, Perrotti said. The room did not have a security screen installed on its window, the chief said.

Perrotti said the robbery of a student inside his own room in a residential college was “unique.”

“We have had no incidents like this for a long time,” he said. “I can’t remember the last one.”

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