This past January, the quiet routine of a partially filled campus was disrupted by a string of thefts that occurred in the College’s Alfond Senior Apartments. Many students reported amounts of money missing from their wallets, stolen alcohol and food, and even light bulbs being unscrewed from the ceiling. Sarah Gold `23 was one of the students whose apartment experienced a theft.
“I called security the next morning to report the incident as my roommate’s wallet had been dumped all over our table and [the] flowers [that] we had [were] smashed everywhere, so it was clear that someone had been there,” she said.
Two roommates who requested to stay anonymous had money stolen from their apartment as well.
“One of my good friends from high school was asleep on our couch. He watched this guy walk in, and he kind of walked around the kitchen for a little bit… then he kind of looked at [my friend] and said ‘oh shit wrong apartment,’ one anonymous roommate said. “He stole some alcohol and then left. He was wearing a red sweatshirt. I know whoever it was also took things from other apartments. Someone else had a good amount of money stolen.”
Monet Meyers `23 reported a couple of hundred dollars missing from her boyfriend’s wallet at her apartment in January.
“We heard that our friend’s apartment had gotten money stolen from theirs and so then I was telling my boyfriend that and he said that he noticed a couple hundred dollars that were not in his wallet, and he had thought he had taken it out maybe and didn’t think much of it,” she said. “But when I told him that another apartment had been stolen from too, we suspected that someone had come into my apartment that night and stolen from his wallet.”
Meyers reported the theft to Security along with other students that also had things stolen from their apartments. After going through camera footage, Security had an image of the person likely behind the break-ins, but they were not able to identify them.
“They just assumed they were locals, like high school or college, and so nothing really happened after that,” Meyers said. “We went in to look at [the footage] and we didn’t recognize the people, and from there it was just kind of like done and dropped.”
Earlier that month, Meyers also had a neon sign and a framed picture stolen, both of which she was able to retrieve.
The College campus has historically been a relatively safe space when it comes to theft. Students often leave electronics out in the library and leave for short periods, and students are required to leave their backpacks outside the dining halls while they eat. There have been very few instances during which items have been stolen due to any of these common behaviors.
“Of course, the apartments are a place where parties and shenanigans are bound to occur,” the second anonymous roommate said. “From what we’ve heard, Colby students potentially collaborated with non-Colby students to steal. That feels so slimy and [makes it so] we can’t make the apartments a place where people can safely hang out.”
Gold also reported feeling more uneasy after the thefts.
“The disciplinary people who were dealing with the case determined it was not Colby students breaking into the apartments, but the whole experience has definitely made me a little more nervous about safety on campus,” she said.
The information that it was likely not students in the College that perpetrated these thefts added to concerns about campus security, but the community amongst residents of the apartments remained strong.
“I feel like the experience brought the seniors who lived in the Senior Apartments closer together as a bunch of people’s apartments were broken into,” Gold said.
The Colby Echo was not able to get an immediate comment from Security about any preventative security measures that have been put in place around the apartments at this time.
Aside from the string of thefts that occurred over JanPlan, the Alfond Senior Apartments have had a history of damage and petty theft involving students that generally occurred during parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
Another anonymous senior has experienced some of the havoc wreaked by weekend partygoers.
“Some people have stolen a flag, in fact two of our flags have been stolen. My roommate’s pasta has even been stolen” she said. “We also had people throw up in our shower and all over our toilet, and sometimes the lights would come out of the ceiling due to people jumping up and down on the floor above us.”
The apartments function as the weekend gathering place on campus, and they, therefore, occupy a similar space that fraternity and sorority houses would at a school with Greek Life. With a large number of inebriated students squeezed into small apartments, it’s no wonder that the building experiences the mistreatment and damage it does. Now, with the added scare of people outside the College community gaining access into the building, students affected are forced to rethink how they can freely allow people into their living space.
~ Mahika Gupta `23 and Maura Thompson `24
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