Thieves strike third college

Timothy Dwight College is the latest dormitory to be affected by room robberies after being hit with at least three thefts over the past weekend.

Three TD students had money stolen from their wallets, a week after cash was taken overnight from the wallets of two Davenport seniors and a Berkeley College student in their first floor rooms.

In an e-mail to the college, TD Master Robert Thompson warned students to be more careful about room safety by keeping entryways secured and making sure fire doors are alarmed.

“We were hit with a rash of sneak-thief thefts over the weekend. An outsider, gaining entrance to our entry wells, pilfered the wallets of at least three TDrs,” Thompson wrote in the e-mail. “So let’s triple our vigilance, making damn sure that entry doors are never propped open (which gives immediate access) and always keep your suite door shut even when you’re off to the john. Plus when you’re sleeping or taking a nap.”

Thompson could not be reached for comment Monday.

TD Dean John Loge said the thefts were “unfortunate,” but he declined to comment further.

Yale Police Department Sgt. Steven Woznyk said last week that the recent on-campus robberies were not forced entrances. The thieves in the Davenport and Berkeley incidents entered through windows that had been left unlocked.

“These are not forceable burglaries,” Woznyk said about the earlier robberies. “These tend to be crimes of opportunity.”

Woznyk could not be reached for comment Monday about the TD robberies.

Though somewhat surprised by the string of robberies, TD residents generally said they appreciate that carelessness can inadvertently lead to theft.

“Last year my iPod went missing, so I wasn’t completely surprised, but I was surprised that there were so many incidents,” Margaret Plouffe ’09 said. “It’s true that anyone can walk in since people keep their doors propped open, especially this time of year, and we don’t know everyone’s faces yet.”

Elise Taylor ’08, a TD freshman counselor and master’s aide, said she has noticed police officers around the college reminding students to keep their doors locked, but that she does not know if their presence and warnings are related to the robberies.

Silliman College Master and Head of the Council of Masters Judith Krausse said the burglaries may feature in future discussions about campus security.

“The thefts in TD (or any of the residential colleges) is a matter of great concern to all of the Masters,” Krausse said in an e-mail. “The Council of Masters has a committee which routinely reviews matters of security (among other things) and I imagine this might come up in that forum.”

Bevan Dowd ’08, a TD student living off-campus, said she thinks Thompson has continued to keep the college safe.

“I would say Master T has always made an extreme effort to make students safe,” she said. “If I were living on campus, I wouldn’t feel any less safe.”

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