Police remind students to lock doors after 309 burglary

Police continue to investigate a burglary that occurred Wednesday night at the Roland Realty apartment complex at 309 E. Green St. During the burglary, a man entered a woman’s apartment while she was showering.

The victim had observed the offender kneeling by the tub, trying to look at her. She then yelled at the offender, who then fled. The victim then closed and locked the bathroom door, but the offender again attempted to enter. After the victim continued to scream, the offender left the apartment.

According to the police report, the offender also took $45 in cash.

Following this incident, University police officers are reminding students to always keep their doors locked and be careful about who drifts in behind them when entering their place of residence.

Capt. Skip Frost of University Police said that because the crime did not occur on university property, it did not warrant a Crime-Alert. “An advisory”:http://illinois.edu/lb/article/2668/66570 was sent out instead via email from the Division of Public Safety. Frost also said the crime was reported to the Champaign Police Department, so it is their case to handle.

“Clearly, we realize that this (crime) was close enough to campus that we want to let our students know that ‘Hey, this incident occurred,’” Frost said. “As soon as we became aware of it, we wanted to put that information out.”

The advisory also featured pictures of the offender, who was described as “a skinny black male, approximately 20 years of age, 6 foot tall, wearing a red ‘Angry Birds’ ball cap and a red shirt.” The police are hoping to get information from students who might know about the offender.

Lt. Tony Brown of University Police said there is a potential for an updated advisory to be sent out, which would include video footage.

“There’s also indications from the video that (the Champaign Police Department) has been able to view that he attempted to get into several other apartments and may have actually accessed those other apartments,” Brown said.

Trisha Christakes, resident of the complex and sophomore in LAS, said she’s always pretty mindful of who is coming into the building because she wants it to remain a safe place.

“Me and my roommates have made a more conscious effort to keep our doors locked when we go in and out because of the emails we’ve been getting,” Christakes said.

Frost and Brown agreed that something as simple as locking the door will greatly reduce the possibility of somebody being the victim of a crime. They said this is “common sense,” but sometimes students will get too comfortable with their surroundings and will just leave it open.

“These are crimes of opportunity,” Frost said. “The community can help us out and help themselves out by removing the opportunity. That’s what we always say.”

Champaign Police spokeswoman Rene Dunn could not be reached before press time.

_Steven can be reached at [email protected]_