A surge in burglaries on and off the Georgetown campus, including a number targeting the Southwest Quad, marked a 141 percent increase in burglaries in the neighborhood from the same period last year.

Since May 1, fourteen Georgetown residences and one faculty office were burglarized, according to the Department of Public Safety. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Department records show that the Georgetown neighborhood at large has seen 41 burglaries in the same period.

Nine of the burglaries at residences occurred in Reynolds Hall, two in New South, one in Kennedy and one in McCarthy. Multiple burglaries often occurred at a residence in a single day. On June 24 alone, five Reynolds residents reported to DPS that their rooms had been burglarized. Missing items included a camera, two cell phones, two iPods and a purse.

There were no signs that force was used in breaking into any of the rooms, though most victims said that they had locked their doors. According to Joseph Smith, the associate director of DPS, there are a number of possible reasons for this.

“It depends on who has access to the room, and sometimes people will believe they remember closing the door when maybe perhaps they didn’t. Or it could be that somebody else has key access. It could be university staff.”

According to Smith, the fact that several rooms in one residence were often burglarized at once indicates that the perpetrator was well aware of the residents’ comings and goings.

“You may have one perpetrator who’s going to several different residences, or it could be multiple perpetrators. I think whoever it is timed it well that there wasn’t anybody at home at the time of each of those, which would indicate some kind of inside knowledge, whether they’re a resident themselves or something else, to know that kind of detail,” he said.

Smith could not comment on the progress of the investigations into these and other burglaries, which he says are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, students who lived on campus over the summer were disturbed by the high levels of crime.

“I think it’s pretty awful,” said Mary Grace Reich, who lived in Village A over the summer. “Over the summer I just feel less safe, because there are fewer people around and fewer eyes out.”

The summer also saw a large number of thefts, with 51 thefts reported to DPS in a three month period. Property crime is the most common type of crime in the Georgetown area, representing 71 percent of incidents on campus and 93 percent of incidents in the neighborhood at large.

Spencer Daum (SFS ’13), a former cartoonist for The Hoya, was one of this summer’s many Southwest Quad burglary victims. On May 24, he was in the process of moving his things to his new apartment when he found that his old room in Kennedy Hall had been ransacked. His two computers, iPod and other possessions were missing.

“It’s made me trust the university a lot less, because when I left there were [university employees] on that floor of Kennedy, and those people were still there when I got back. None of them claimed to see anything. And I was pretty sure I locked my door,” he said.

Daum said that he found DPS unhelpful when he went to them to report the incident.

“They took my information down and they put descriptions down and they told me if you have any questions you can call. They never responded and never followed up with any investigations.”

But Smith said that the best thing students can do to protect their belongings is to be more cautious about where they leave things.

“Have your door locked, have your laptop secured,” he said. “The more you can do to slow down a bad guy, the more it’s going to make it more difficult for him or her to take a laptop.”

Reich said that the increase in burglaries has made her and her friends more careful.

“From the people that I’ve talked to, there’s definitely been an increase in awareness just from the number of public safety alerts we get,” she said.

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