Responding to student reports of suspicious behavior, police arrested one man near Morse College and another in Dunham Laboratory over the weekend.
The man arrested on Hillhouse Ave. might have been responsible for robberies in Timothy Dwight College last week, said Sgt. Steven Woznyk, a spokesperson for the Yale Police Department.
Yale Police and Yale Security have increased their presence on campus since the recent spike in dormitory burglaries, which have affected students in Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Morse and Davenport Colleges. But YPD and college masters said students should still remain vigilant.
Hamden resident Donald Daluz, 35, one of the two men arrested this weekend, was charged with burglary and larceny after he was found near the Yale Bookstore with two cameras and various cosmetics at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Friday, Woznyk said.
Yale Police were responding to a report from a Morse College resident that a suspicious person was in the college when they found Daluz — a “well-known” “repeat offender” with an outstanding arrest warrant for larceny by possession who matched the description given in the Morse student’s report, Woznyk said.
Woznyk said Daluz was also confronted last week by YPD for his alleged role in a laptop burglary in Morse College.
“It just so happened in this case that a street-wise sergeant noticed that the non-affiliate [Daluz] had something in his possession that was obviously not his,” Woznyk said.
Further investigation led police to the laptop’s rightful owner, a student in Morse who had been unaware that it had been stolen, Woznyk said. After the laptop was returned, the student filed a late theft report Oct. 8.
Less than six hours after Daluz’s arrest, Yale police were dispatched to Dunham Laboratory on the report of a suspicious person. They found Kevin Smith, a 21-year-old New Haven resident, inside the building at about 4:20 a.m. on Oct. 13.
Smith was charged with burglary and larceny, Woznyk said. Smith was also in possession of a “small amount of marijuana” and a stolen credit card.
Woznyk said Smith resembled the descriptions given by students who reported recent thefts in Timothy Dwight.
Police are investigating the possibility of Smith’s role in the recent burglaries.
The day before Smith’s arrest, Yale police were dispatched to Timothy Dwight at 4:30 a.m. to follow up on a report of a suspicious person in the college, whose description matched those from previous incidents, Woznyk said YPD did not locate any intruder that night.
YPD is investigating potential links between the two arrests and other burglaries that have occurred on campus, but they cannot definitively say that the two men have been involved in past incidents, Woznyk said.
In a third incident this weekend, Yale police were dispatched to Davenport at 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 13 on the report of an attempted burglary, Woznyk said.
The residents of the suite that reported the incident said they had heard an exterior window open. The residents did not see the intruder, but they promptly notified police, Woznyk said.
The Davenport case is still under investigation, but Woznyk said it fits the same patterns and styles of the previous crimes.
Despite the recent arrests, Woznyk said YPD will continue to police recently burglarized areas until the investigations are concluded.
“We’re not going to say that we caught the guy and that’s the end of it,” Woznyk said. “There’s still going to be increased presence at TD and elsewhere.”
Some students in the burglarized colleges said the break-ins have convinced them to take new precautions.
“We used to not lock our doors last year so much,” said Davenport resident Lee-Shing Chang ’08. “This year, we’ve been more wary about not propping open the door.”
But many students interviewed said they still felt safe in their colleges, which they said could contribute to complacency.
“Even though there was a burglary in Davenport, I never felt any different regarding safety and security,” Justin Thaler ’09 said. “It’s hard when you’re in the courtyard, and it feels like a utopia, to feel like anything can touch you.”
Morse College Master Frank Keil warned students to remain cautious.
“We should not be propping open entryway doors or taping the doors so they don’t close automatically,” he said. “No one ought to be letting people who they don’t recognize into entryway doors. It’s not just for us – it’s for all colleges.”
Woznyk urged students who have had property stolen to report the thefts to police as soon as possible, which could assist the ongoing investigations.
There were a total of 99 campus burglaries in 2006, according to the Yale University Report on Campus Security.