University Police Department officers apprehended two subjects after they allegedly attempted to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of property from students’ rooms in Mitchell Hall Thursday night.
Both suspects – who are unaffiliated with GW – entered Mitchell at about 6 p.m., following behind students who were entering the building. The suspects then entered unlocked rooms and attempted to steal more than $3,200 worth of electronics, jewelry, bags and purses, according to a news release.
At about 6:20 p.m., a female student left her residence hall room door unlocked while she visited the 7-Eleven store adjacent to the dorm, according to police reports. When she returned, the suspect was in her room and holding her property – a MacBook Pro laptop and a Burberry watch.
The student stood in front of her doorway, blocking the suspect’s path, and called for help, but the suspect fled down the stairs. UPD officers caught him in the lobby, holding the student’s laptop charger and watch, according to the release.
The suspect is described as a bald, black 58-year-old male suspect, at 5 feet 9 inches. No names were provided in the Metropolitan Police report.
The second suspect, a black 39-year-old female, was holding an elevator for the male suspect, and was later arrested by a UPD officer a block away from Mitchell at 19th and F streets, according to the reports.
After the suspects were caught, Metropolitan Police Department officers asked a student, who previously reported a missing laptop, to identify the recovered property, according to the reports. Her laptop was recovered.
Officers also found a debit or credit card in the female suspect’s sock, according to the reports.
The total number of rooms the burglars actually entered is still unknown, according to the release.
“This incident is a reminder to students to be vigilant about entering and exiting residence halls and avoid[ing] assisting unknown persons entering the building,” UPD Chief Kevin Hay said in the release.
Campus thefts like these are on the rise. Last year, the number of reported thefts on campus inched 2 percent higher than the year before, reaching 404 thefts by December. In comparison to previous fall terms, last semester saw a 27 percent spike in thefts.