Two separate break-ins in Branford, Pauli Murray suites
Yale Police confirmed that non-Yale affiliates broke into one suite in Branford College and another in Pauli Murray College on Monday; police were also notified of an attempted bike theft in Saybrook College.
Lucas Holter, Senior Photographer
Several non-Yale students broke into a Branford College suite late Monday evening. Yale Police also responded to an attempted theft in Saybrook College earlier in the evening and a separate break-in Monday morning in Pauli Murray College.
The Yale Police Department apprehended three non-Yale individuals — whom the YPD identified as juveniles — involved in the attempted theft in Saybrook and the Branford break-in, in addition to a non-Yale-affiliated adult who broke into Pauli Murray.
Branford and Saybrook
According to Yale Police Chief Anthony Campbell, YPD officers were notified that four juveniles were attempting to steal bikes from the Saybrook courtyard — which is adjacent to Branford’s courtyard — at 6:34 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27. When Yale police officers arrived on the scene, they apprehended one juvenile. Campbell added that the YPD then received a second call stating that Yale students had encountered two juveniles in a Branford suite located in entryway C.
According to Nati Tesfaye ’26, who lives in the affected suite and is a staff reporter for the News, there were four individuals involved in the break-in. At approximately 6:40 p.m., Tesfaye said, students found three juveniles inside of their suite. A fourth juvenile was outside the suite acting as a lookout. Tesfaye, who is also a staff reporter for the News, said that the three individuals in the suite took food and electronics.
Tesfaye told the News that a Branford College student who does not live in the affected suite reported the break-in to the Yale Police Department.
While YPD did not specify whether the Saybrook and Branford incidents are linked, Campbell said that three trespassers in total were arrested, charged, given summons and released to a guardian — including the individual apprehended in the Saybrook courtyard.
The arrested individuals returned the stolen electronics once confronted by members of the suite, Tesfaye said. He added that the juveniles claimed to be students at a New Haven high school.
Branford administration did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Saybrook Dean Adam Haliburton declined to comment.
On Monday morning, YPD officers also apprehended a non-Yale affiliated adult in Pauli Murray.
Officers discerned from video surveillance that the individual was let into the college by a Yale student, who swiped the individual into one of the Pauli Murray gates and proceeded to attempt to burglarize an unlocked suite. According to Campbell, the suspect claimed that the door to the entryway was “wide open.”
Campbell told the News that the individual attempted to steal cell phones from a suite.
“The suspect was arrested and charged with trespassing and burglary,” Campbell wrote in a text to the News on Nov. 28.
In an email sent to Benjamin Franklin College students at 5:50 p.m. on Monday, Head of College Jordan Peccia informed his students of the incident in Pauli Murray.
“This morning at 6 am, an intruder entered a suite in Pauli Murray College,” Peccia wrote. “The students in the suite immediately called Yale Police; no one was harmed; no property was taken. The suspect was quickly apprehended and is now in jail.”
Danielle Lee, a member of the suite — which is located on the second floor in Murray’s entryway D — recounted the break-in.
At approximately 5:50 a.m. on Monday, Lee woke up to find her phone in front of her suitemate’s bedroom door. Upon waking her suitemate up, they found an adult man in their suite. The man was silent and exited the room when Lee called the Yale Police.
“Keep the suites locked,” Lee said. “The hallways inside the residential colleges may not be like a part of your home… I don’t think [the man] would have gotten in if all our suite doors were locked.”
Lee said that involved police officers and Murray staff were empathetic to their experience.
Campbell told the News that YPD “typically” does not have to send a community-wide alert after making an arrest “because there is no threat to the community.”
“Stop putting tape on the doors and the hangers,” Campbell advised. “Do not let anyone you do not know into the college.”
According to statistics published by Yale Public Safety, there were a total of 20 on-campus burglaries in 2020 and 11 cases in both 2021 and 2022.
Apprehended juveniles are brought to the New Haven Police Department.
Update, Dec. 4: This article has been updated to include comments from a student living in the affected Pauli Murray suite.