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A series of recent burglaries in fraternity houses across campus have Division of Public Safety officials taking stricter measures to prevent similar incidents.

Penn Police Deputy Chief of Investigations Michael Morrin said DPS already has a person of interest in connection with all of these cases and that the suspect is already in custody for a separate matter.

According to Morrin, there were eight burglaries in fraternities across campus during the month of October.

The last burglary that occurred in a fraternity was on Oct. 27.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush declined to specify which fraternities have been affected by these burglaries or what items have been taken because the investigation is ongoing.

Rush did mention, however, that most of these burglaries occurred in the early-morning hours and that the affected fraternities all left their doors unlocked or their windows open.

In response to this string of burglaries, Penn Police Chief Mark Dorsey has been meeting with residents of several fraternity houses and has held several educational seminars to discuss ways that these burglaries can be prevented.

Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Scott Reikofski said OFSA has been working with all chapter presidents and house managers to heighten awareness of the situation.

He added that this consists of strongly encouraging chapters to be more vigilant in securing their property, both with exterior doors and windows as well as individual bedrooms.

DPS officials and administrators from the Office of Student Conduct have discussed possible sanctions that could be implemented if fraternities neglect to lock their doors, Rush said. She did not specify the form these sanctions would take.

Penn Police have also been monitoring fraternity houses at night to make sure the doors of these houses are locked.

Rush said if a police officer notices that members of a fraternity house neglected to lock their doors, those police officers will enter the house and confront the fraternity members.

“[Penn Police] have a large portion of land and many buildings to patrol, but their dedication to addressing these issues has been phenomenal,” Reikofski wrote in an e-mail.

Rush said that by leaving their doors unlocked, fraternities put the entire Penn community at risk because it gives potential criminals more reason to come to campus.

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