A female student encountered an intruder in her Saybrook College suite on Friday evening — marking the fourth trespassing incident to strike the residential college within three weeks.
Around 7 p.m., Caroline Silver ’22 and Chloe Fink ’22 returned to Silver’s suite to find the door to her room propped open. The students had left the suite for just 15 minutes to make a brief trip to Good Nature Market. Upon opening the door, Silver saw a man in a hoodie rifling through her belongings with a flashlight in his hand. Silver confronted the burglar and then began to dial the Yale Police Department, at which point the man ran out of the room and fled down the hallway. YPD officers arrived within two minutes of the call reporting the incident, according to an email to the News from Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins.
“The Yale police are investigating and we have increased patrols in the area,” Higgins wrote in a community-wide email Friday night.
Over fall break, three instances of trespassing roiled the residential college. Unlike the three fall break incidents, the YPD dubbed Friday’s incident a “burglary.”
Fink said that another one of Silver’s suitemates was home at the time of the Friday burglary, but she was not aware of the intrusion until after the fact. At the time of the break-in, the suitemate was on a phone call in her room on the opposite end of the suite. YPD officers conducted a thorough sweep of the suite and found no belongings missing, Fink said.
“It doesn’t appear anything was taken during the incident and this investigation is ongoing,” Higgins said. “Students are reminded to lock their doors and to call the police if they observe anyone suspicious in their residential college.”
It remains unclear why Saybrook in particular has been a target for trespassers.
“I am assuming [that] someone found the Yale ID of a Saybrook student and is using it to open our doors,” Silver wrote in an email to the News. “We are also very close to Elm Street, and there are no security cameras under the archway of entryway K.”
YPD officers arrested one male Hamden resident on Oct. 19 in the Saybrook courtyard after a theft complaint, but they could not attribute all three fall break episodes to the individual. One of the three trespassing incidents in October occurred on Old Campus in Vanderbilt Hall, which houses first-year Saybrugians.
The fall break incidents all occurred in unlocked suites, so the YPD characterized them as trespassing incidents rather than “break-ins.” While Silver’s door was unlocked at the time of the burglary, she said she typically keeps it locked and had stepped out only momentarily to go to Good Nature Market.
Many students on campus prop their doors open with hangers or tape their locks to avoid carrying room keys. In an Oct. 21 college-wide email, Saybrook Head of College Thomas Near urged students to consider locking their doors immediately. Near and Saybrook College Dean Ferentz Lafargue did not respond to requests for comment.
“I would find any burglaries targeting Yale students disturbing, but I’m especially confused and concerned about the fact that only Saybrook has been broken into repeatedly,” Saybrugian Ella Goldblum ’23 told the News. “It makes the motives of the burglar or burglars seem much more pernicious.”
Saybrook College opened in 1933 as part of the Memorial Quadrangle it shares with Branford College.
Olivia Tucker | firstname.lastname@example.org