Pi Phi sees three burglaries in two days, public safety suspects more unreported

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Public safety cars outside Hugel Science Center. (Lauren Fox ’19)

Kathryn Kelly

Public safety issued a timely warning notice to the Lafayette community about burglaries on campus to encourage people to come forward with information after evidence in their investigation led officers to believe there may be more to come, public safety officials said.

Three burglaries at the Lafayette Pi Beta Phi sorority house were reported to Lafayette College Public Safety on Nov. 14. The first occurred on Nov. 12 and the other two occurred the next day. Each occurred in “the day/early evening time,” the warning read. Three students had left their rooms unlocked in the sorority house and they all had items stolen out of their rooms.

Associate Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Jim Meyer said that public safety could not divulge any more details of the reports, such as who the alleged victims were and what was stolen, because doing so would compromise the investigations.

Public safety sent the warning about the crimes after three days of investigation led public safety to believe that there were likely more burglaries that occurred but have yet to be reported.

According to the Jeanne Clery Act, a timely warning notice must be sent when Clery crimes are reported that “pose a continuing threat to the campus community.”

The knowledge that there may be unreported past burglaries combined with the threat of future ones presented an immediate threat to Lafayette, Director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell said.

“Additional information was uncovered … to lead us to believe that there could be other burglaries that have happened,” Troxell said. “So that’s when we decided, let’s let the community know and provide the timely warning.”

Meyer added that even more information has come to light in the last two weeks that support the belief that there are people who have not come forward, but would not reveal what that information is.

“What’s timely to us is in the last couple weeks, based on new information from a follow up investigation, that there may have been more people who have not come forward,” he said. “That’s what’s timely to us. And we’re doing that to prevent thefts.”

“Pi Phi could still be target, based on other information here. So we’re concerned, and we’re still trying to take preventative measures,” which included sending out a timely warning notice, Meyer added.