Aston residents worry after another theft

Another theft at the Aston Tuesday has some residents labeling their building the haunted residence hall.

Sophomore Mira Katz said her backpack was stolen from her locked room while she was in her room at about 4:45 p.m. Her backpack was found later that night, missing $50, a credit card and two bank cards. There was no sign of who took it.

I have no idea (who did it), but I imagine it was the same person who has taken all those laptops, Katz said.

Eight thefts were reported involving computers from the Aston during winter break, Director of University Police Dolores Stafford said in January. The break-ins are still under investigation, she said.

Though Katz said she remembers locking the door behind her, Stafford said a key was not used during the theft.

Somebody did not use a key to get in the room, Stafford said.

Some Aston residents said they question the University’s ability to keep their belongings safe.

I’m a little apprehensive about my stuff now, sophomore resident Bryan Kraft said. Some dude can have a shopping spree in this dorm.

Katz said the possibilities of what could have happened scare her the most.

If this is a big guy, I’m just glad they didn’t come into the bathroom, she said. If they had come in a couple minutes later, they could have my entire room.

Katz said she and her roommate are coming up with elaborate plans to ensure their safety. They will put a deadbolt on their door with a separate door alarm that makes noise when moved. Katz will also prop a chair against her door as an extra safety precaution, she said.

If it’s going to keep me and my personal things safe, and the University can’t do anything about it, we’ll have to, Katz said. That’s a very scary realization that somebody could just come in.

Aston residents said they would like surveillance cameras on their hallways as an added safety feature in their building. Because the cameras currently in the lobby and outside the elevators did not seem to catch the thief during winter break, students said they would like the University to increase the number of cameras throughout the building.

The Community Living and Learning Center is currently updating the cameras in the Aston, said Mark Levine, assistant dean of students.

Katz said she was in her bathroom preparing for rugby practice when she heard someone enter her room.

I figured it was my roommate, so I didn’t pay much attention to it, she said.

When she came out of the bathroom, Katz said she could not find her backpack, which was on her kitchen counter.

I turned my room upside down looking for it, and I realized it wasn’t there, she said.

Katz said she called UPD at 5 p.m.

I was at a loss, she said. I had no clue what to do. My whole life is in my bag.

The Community Service Aide on duty found Katz’s backpack in the lobby bathroom at about 10 p.m., Katz said.

The incident leaves some residents unsure of the their safety, students said.

I’m absolutely terrified, Katz said. When we’re not there, they can take anything they want.

-Steven Postal contributed to this report.

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