Late Sunday evening, Yale Police arrested a man and a woman suspected of breaking into Berkeley Entryway I and stealing students’ possessions.
More details about exactly what happened Sunday night emerged through the day on Monday. The suite targeted is home to Zana Davey ’15, who said her suitemate propped the door open for a few minutes to go to the bathroom. In that time, Davey said, the two intruders snagged iPods, wallets, phones and a laptop.
It wasn’t until police officers came knocking two minutes later that Davey or her suitemates noticed the items were missing, she said.
Another student living in the entryway, Justin Stewart ’15, found the intruders suspicious and called the police.
“Thankfully, we never had a moment of panic, because we didn’t know anything was missing until the police officers knocked on our suite and told us,” Davey said. “But it feels violating.”
Indeed, Stewart said he watched the hooded man and woman follow someone into the North Court before they attempted to follow him into the entryway. After Stewart slammed the door shut, he said he called the police immediately.
“It was surprising to me how easy it was for them to get into the building, and almost leave with people’s stuff without getting caught,” Stewart said.
In a Monday email to the Berkeley community, Master Marvin Chun thanked Stewart for his “smart thinking” and asked students to take more precautions for their safety — including locking all suite and bathroom doors and asking strangers to show Yale ID cards before letting them into entryways.
“Berkeley is a wonderful and caring community, but we all have to remember that this community is located in a city,” he wrote in the email. “We are the front line of protection for each other.”
Students have reported seeing a similar pair around Berkeley before. Aaminah Qadir ’14 saw a man and woman standing outside entryway H wearing gray track suits, and the two asked her to be let in, looking for “Ellie.”
“I wasn’t sure if there was an Ellie living in our entryway, but I knew by that point they were lying. So I stepped upward on the staircase, and I said ‘No Ellie lives here,’” she said. “And they looked at each other and looked really scared, and they just bolted.”
Qadir reported the incident to the police, and Chun mentioned it in a weekly newsletter to the college.