Series of thefts puts campus safety on high alert

Avery Boulware, Campus Carrier News Editor

It is common for Berry students to leave their cars unlocked while on campus, believing that the Berry Bubble will keep their belongings safe and intact. But on the evening of April 6, a series of thefts occurred from cars across campus, from the Cage Center parking lot to Mountain Campus. 

Berry police have been working to establish a time frame of when the thefts may have happened. They do not yet have a suspect or a vehicle description for the thief. 

Abrams estimated the five thefts happened some time between 6 p.m. on April 6 and 1 a.m. on April 7.

After discussing with both Rome and Floyd County police departments, Berry police believe that the suspect is internal, either a student or someone familiar with Berry.

The Welcome Center monitors all visitors, and even though guest passes expire at 7 p.m., campus safety is able to narrow down which visitors have left and which are still on campus. 

“There would be more leads if (the thefts were) tied to a visitor,” Abrams said. “After 1 a.m. we would have spotted that vehicle riding around or person walking around.”

A wide variety of items were reported stolen. One report listed several pairs of sunglasses missing. Another reported Bluetooth speakers and a TomTom GPS system stolen. Cash, a laptop and backpack, hats, a knife, tennis shoes, t-shirts and shorts were also reported stolen from various vehicles.

In the report where the knife was stolen, three wallets were found in the same vehicle that did not belong to the owner. Abrams emailed the student body to report the wallets found, but has not received any response. 

“It’s kind of childish when you see what they are stealing,” Abrams said. “I understand someone stealing money, but the clothing is kind of strange.”

The stolen backpack was later found on the side of the road on Mountain Campus, but the laptop and cash that were inside the backpack have not been located. 

None of the cars were damaged and there is no sign of forced entry. According to Abrams, the suspect simply found cars that were already unlocked.

“There’s no telling how many cars he went into that he didn’t take anything or that people haven’t missed their stuff yet,” Abrams said. “It’s also a reminder to lock your vehicle. We generally don’t have people forcing their way in, it’s just finding that opportunity.”

Though the Berry police do not have a suspect or vehicle description, they are following up on a report of a “suspicious vehicle” on Mountain Campus on Tuesday night. The car was idling in the road. When another car drove up, the driver moved from where he was sitting in the passenger seat into the driver seat and drove away.

Lee Carter, an investigator for the Berry Police Department, has been working for three days on this case.

“If anyone noticed anything on April 6, even something very small, it’s a piece of a puzzle that can come together,” Carter said. “Call the police department and let us know.”

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