Electronics, credit cards stolen from Wallace dorm room

By Emma WestRasmus

For the residents of one room on the fourth floor of Wallace dormitory, Fall Break could not have started off any worse. Residents of a Wallace triple returned to their room during the evening Wed., Oct. 27 only to discover about $8,000 worth of electronics and personal belongings had been snatched from their room. Residence Hall Director Fernie Rodriguez believes the theft occurred between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. According to Rodriguez the room had inadvertently been left unlocked by the residents who were away from the room for about three hours Wed. evening, and the thief took “everything of value in plain sight.” The residents of the room immediately contacted Campus Safety and Security and later filed a police report detailing the missing items.

The thief took off with laptops, chargers, a DVD player, iPod, camera and wallet, as well as a backpack full of textbooks and other personal belongings.

According to Emily Humpreys ’13, one of the residents of the room, the thief used one of the roommates’ credit cards at two gas stations in downtown St. Paul about 30 minutes after the theft presumably occurred.

“We have no idea who did it,” Humphreys wrote in an email. “At first we assumed it was a Mac student because of the location. We didn’t think a thief would come all the way to the 4th floor.”

However after discovering the credit card use and receiving a call from a neighbor in the area alerting resident Alyssa Mackle ’13 that her health insurance card and planner had been found in the neighbor’s yard, the residents came to the conclusion that the thief was not a Macalester student.

Campus security and Residential Life currently have no leads about the identity of the culprit. However Safety and Security is currently reviewing footage from the security cameras in the entryways of Wallace and Head of Safety and Security Terry Gorman is optimistic that the surveillance could help to determine the identity of the thief.

Though this was the first theft in the 30BigWall complex this year, Gorman said that it was just one of several thefts that occurred over Fall Break. Several backpacks were stolen around campus, and a student’s car was broken into over the weekend. According to Gorman, the car was parked near the Vernon Street language houses, and the culprit smashed a window to get to valuables inside the car.

“I wouldn’t say this is a rash of crimes, but there certainly has been a higher number of incidents,” Gorman said.

Both Gorman and Rodriguez hope the theft serves as a reminder of the need for students to lock room doors and be vigilant about keeping an eye out for strange behavior or people on campus and alerting campus security if they observe anything suspicious or unusual.

“If [thieves] find we’re easy picking, they’ll be back,” Gorman said.

“In this small community we take our security for granted,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a testament to how safe we feel, but we have to remember we are still in St. Paul, still in an urban environment.”

Humphreys agreed with the need to be more vigilant about security on campus.

“We were a little careless about [locking the door] before the theft, because we figured our room was in a pretty safe location,” Humphreys said. “I do think that people should be more aware that these things do happen. We never thought it would be us, and then this happened.”

Anyone with information regarding the recent thefts on campus are encouraged to inform Res. Life or Safety and Security.