The Yale Police Department is continuing to investigate a series of thefts targeting Yale Summer Session students between June and August.
In the first two weeks of June, Master of Yale Summer Session and Dean of Morse College Joel Silverman sent three emails to Yale Summer Session students, counselors and staff alerting them of thefts on campus. Although the YPD has recovered several of the stolen items and arrested one individual, the department is still investigating all thefts and expects additional arrests soon, Assistant Chief of the Yale Police Department Michael Patten said in an email to the News. The stolen items included students’ personal electronic devices which were left unattended in unlocked rooms.
“Although crime can and does happen on any college campus, students can help reduce crime by realizing that thieves are opportunists and security is a shared responsibility,” Patten said.
The first of the three thefts reported to the campus community occurred in Morse College on June 2. The thief entered a student’s room through a door that was propped open with a hanger and stole the student’s laptop, phone and money, according to an email Silverman sent out following the incident.
Six days later, on June 8, a burglar entered the bedroom of a student in Ezra Stiles College because the doors were propped open with a hanger. The student’s jewelry and camera were stolen. The third theft occurred a week later, when another student in Ezra Stiles left his door open and had his laptop, cell phone and wallet stolen. Silverman said in his email that the YPD suspected that the thief in the third crime could be a member of the community.
“Like last Monday’s theft in Morse College, today’s crime would have been prevented had the suite door and bedroom door been closed and locked,” Silverman’s email read.
Silverman could not be reached for comment.
Although all four students interviewed who stayed on campus during Yale Summer Session said they found out about the thefts, none felt significantly worried or concerned about their security. All four students added that crime on campus might increase during the summer because fewer students are around.
“The whole [Yale] area is a lot less populated during the summer, which may also act as a crime deterrent during the year,” said Brandon Hudik ’17, a Yale Summer Session counselor.
Patten highlighted that even though regular classes end in May, thousands of people attend summer programs at the University, so keeping the campus safe is a year-round priority. He added that students can play a crucial role in reducing crime by taking advantage of the security systems and procedures that Yale has in place.
The Yale Summer Session Student Handbook states that students should keep their room doors locked and their windows secured.