Eight burglaries were reported in the Quad on Saturday, leading to the arrest of a Penn student for one of the alleged offenses.
Four burglaries were reported in Ware College House, and another four were reported in Riepe College House last weekend.
Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said that all eight of the burglaries resulted from individuals leaving their dorm room doors unlocked, as there were no signs of forced entry. Electronics, such as MacBook Pros, and cash were among the items taken from the burglarized rooms.
College freshman Anthony Bagtas was arrested late on Monday night for one of the eight burglaries. He was not charged with offenses related to any of the other burglaries.
“As a result from good information from a couple of witnesses and as well as an investigation, Penn Police detectives centered on a suspect,” Rush said. “After an additional investigation and after the suspect was brought in for an interview, he was arrested on one of the burglaries.”
Rush said that at this time, she cannot assume that the eight burglaries are related, as the investigations are still ongoing. “At this point the pattern has stopped, and we are continuing investigations into the remaining burglaries to identify a suspect,” Rush explained.
Bagtas, who was released early Tuesday morning, is currently facing four charges for the single alleged incident. He has been charged with two felonies — burglary and criminal trespassing — and two misdemeanors — theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
Bagtas is a member of the men’s basketball program and is a resident of Riepe, but he has been removed from the Quad since his arrest, Rush said. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on April 8.
As of press time, Bagtas did not respond to two emails seeking comment.
The eight burglaries last week come after a string of four burglaries that were reported in the Quad in December of last semester, following Thanksgiving break. No arrests have been made in relation to the four 2013 Quad burglaries, Rush said.
Saturday’s incidents represent an unusual string of occurrences in the Quad.
“Burglaries in the Quad are rare,” Rush said. “When they have occurred [the perpetrator] has generally been someone affiliated with the University who had authorized access into the Quad.”
On Sunday night, the Division of Public Safety issued a safety advisory to Quad residents informing them that “several thefts of electronics that occurred within College Houses in the Quad” were under DPS investigation and that “in each case, entry was gained into the rooms through unlocked doors.” The message also reminded students to keep their doors locked.
DPS typically sends out safety advisories when “there is an ongoing risk for more crime or danger,” Rush said.
“We did not have anyone in custody at that time, and we wanted to get a warning out quickly to make sure that no one left their doors unlocked and was victimized,” Rush added.
Rush emphasized that students should keep their doors locked at all times.
“By leaving the door unlocked, people are tempting someone to come in and take what they don’t have,” she said.