Students report dorm thefts over break

A number of Pierson students reported that their suites were broken into and their possessions stolen over Thanksgiving break.

Students said robbers entered at least two Lower Court suites, stealing numerous items like laptops, iPods and wine bottles. The residents said inadequate security measures may have allowed robbers to enter the college without much difficulty when students were away for the holidays.

Leon Kotlyar ’07, a Pierson senior who lives in a Lower Court suite on the first floor, said he found out about the incident from a friend on Saturday and was then contacted by the Yale Police Department. He said some of his suite’s windows were open when he returned to Yale.

While there was no physical damage to his suite, he said, some of his belongings and valuable possessions were stolen.

“The most valuable thing for me was an iPod,” he said. “But my roommate had his laptop stolen.”

A number of stolen items were small, easy-to-carry articles or electronics, he said.

Pierson College Master Harvey Goldblatt said the recent break-ins are under investigation, but he declined to comment on further details regarding the incident. The Yale Police Department and University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Kotlyar said some students believe construction workers may have left the Pierson gates open while working, allowing robbers to break into student suites. While Kotlyar said he suspects the robbers may have come in through his suite’s window, Carrie Vasios ’07, whose laptop was stolen from her room, said marks on her suite’s door indicate that the robbers probably entered through the front. Kotlyar said other students reported that robbers also attempted to break in to a basement suite, possibly with a crowbar.

Both Vasios and Kotlyar said the unusually high number of robbed suites in Pierson indicates that it was relatively easy for robbers to enter the college.

“They definitely took time,” Vasios said. “They obviously made a number of trips.”

Some students have inquired about being reimbursed for the stolen items, but Goldblatt has not talked to the Pierson community about the incident yet, Kotlyar said.

Vasios said there should be a higher level of security around the residential colleges, especially during breaks, because a majority of Yale students are away and the campus is relatively empty.

“I feel like there was not much security … like no security cameras,” she said. “They shouldn’t have been able to break in.”

Kotlyar said the Pierson administration could have communicated better with robbed Pierson students.

“I was never contacted by the master or the dean,” he said. “They’ve never responded to us or the Pierson body. I wish they had responded earlier.”

But Kotlyar’s roommate, Jerel Bryant ’07, said that assessing the administration’s response to the robbery is premature at this time. The YPD has been helpful and kept him informed about the investigation, he said.

“It is too early,” Bryant said. “Take an extra precaution and lock your windows. It’s just generally a rule.”

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