Four residential colleges have been hit by several incidents of breached security over the past few weeks.
Berkeley, Jonathan Edwards, Timothy Dwight and Davenport colleges have all been targeted in a recent spike in campus crime, leading to several police investigations. During spring break, the Berkeley subbasement was accessed by several people from outside the Yale community. The break-in was followed by an act of vandalism in the JE dining hall on Sunday morning, in which perpetrators covered the dining hall with a cloud of foam released from a fire extinguisher. Later on Monday evening, an intruder was discovered in a TD entryway, and Davenport was struck by a series of thefts early this week. Police investigations into the Berkeley, JE and Davenport incidents are currently ongoing, and all perpetrators are thought to have come from outside the Yale community.
Assistant Yale Police Department Chief Steven Woznyk could not be reached for comment.
Berkeley Master Marvin Chun said in a Monday email to the News that the subbasement situation was “discovered and resolved in a timely fashion.” He confirmed that the subbasement was accessed but said he did not know by whom.
“The police are actively investigating the possibilities and have made sure the area is secure,” he added.
JE’s vandalism incident, which postponed Sunday brunch by 30 minutes because it took dining hall workers over three hours to clean, occurred after perpetrators took a fire extinguisher from the Master’s Office and sprayed it in the dining hall. JE Master Penelope Laurans said she blamed the incident on “alcohol stupidity” and that she regretted that the brunt of the cleanup fell on dining hall workers. Laurans said she was “shocked and disturbed” by the behavior, adding that she does not think the culprit was a member of the Yale community because she could not “believe that anyone from Yale would do anything like this.”
TD Master Jeffrey Brenzel confirmed that a student reported “one apparent stranger in one entryway” and urged students to continue to be alert to their surroundings.
Eddy Wang ’16, who witnessed the incident in TD and reported it to the police, explained that he saw a man in a headband “walking quickly” who caught “the [entryway] door as it was closing.” He added that the intruder went up to the third floor before running back down the stairs and leaving.
Wang said that despite the breach of security in his college, he still feels residential college life is “pretty safe.”
“This is the first time that I’ve experienced something like this,” he said. “I think if they can improve security of course it will be better, but it’s also not that hard to get in in the beginning.”
Davenport Operations Manager Carolyn Haller informed Davenport students in a Monday email that the college had “been victimized by a recent rash of thefts and graffiti.”
Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld ’71 MED ’76 could not be reached for comment.
The thefts are not the first time Davenport has been targeted in recent years. In fall 2011, several desktop and laptop computers were stolen from the college library and a Blu-ray player and audio-visual receiver were reported missing from the buttery. Despite increased patrols by Yale Police Department officers around the college, none of the stolen items were recovered.
In September 2011, nine computer thefts were reported campuswide.