Intruder in ‘Blues’ bedrooms

Emily Dotson

Two separate incidents have been reported to the Brookings Police Department involving a man who has been seen crouching down beside the beds of unsuspecting apartment renters.

On Nov. 30, around 1:30 a.m., the Brookings Police received a call from a woman living in the Campus View Apartment complex, more commonly known as “The Blues”, who woke up to the sound of a man crouching down by her bed. Quickly alarmed, the woman asked the individual what he was doing, thinking it was someone she knew. When she realized it was an intruder, the man made a mad dash for the door. No items had been taken from her residence, but the bathroom light was left on.

Then, on Jan. 8, just a few days before the start of the spring semester, police received another phone call around 4:45 a.m. from the same apartment complex. A male and female were sleeping when they also woke to someone crouching down by their bed.

Lt. Derrick Powers of the Brookings Police Department said, “While they were sleeping, the female woke up and noticed that their bedroom door was open, which was unusual because they normally slept with it closed.”

This resident also observed the bathroom light was on and the other bedroom door was open. Powers stated from the report that, “It wasn’t that way when they went to bed.”

Once awake, the male resident chased the individual out of their apartment and into the street, but the suspect got away.

Nonetheless, the male renter was able to provide the police with specific details of the intruder. He was wearing a black-and-red plaid jacket with a grey hood and a grey stocking cap.

Powers also said, “He is described as a younger white male, between six-foot-one and six-foot-three, thin build and was thought to be wearing dark soled shoes because of the marks left on the vinyl flooring of the residence.”

Similar details of both incidents led the police to believe they are connected. However, in the second incident, the woman’s purse had been opened, and $6 was missing, therefore, it is now an issue of burglary.

Powers said the intruder is, “looking for an easy opportunity.”

Incidents like this have a way of affecting many people who live in apartments. Mallory Cox, a single mother attending SDSU, hopes she is not one of those “easy opportunities” since she lives alone in her apartment condo.

“I’ve always locked my doors, but it makes me more nervous and I feel like an easy target,” she said.

Cox gives credit to her feisty dog, a Chihuahua-corgi-mix.

“I’m glad I have a dog that barks annoyingly loud at every sound,” she said.

Brooke Reiner, a senior political science major, lives in The Blues with her three roommates. She said the foursome is taking some extra precautions in response to the break-ins.

Even though the first occurrence happened during November and the other during early January, Reiner said she and her roommates heard about the two incidents only a few weeks ago from a friend.

“We’re all a little freaked out but have been locking our doors ever since,” she said.

Lindsey Swoboda, property manager of Campus View Apartments was informed about the incident when she received an email from the police.

“They didn’t tell me much information, just that someone had entered the unit,” she said.

Swoboda also said, “The police encouraged us to put up a poster to inform, but not scare, our residents.”

Along with locking doors, Powers encouraged people to use caution and be aware of their surroundings. In each incident, the male or female had noticed doors open that were left shut before they went to bed.

“We live in a fairly safe town, but you still need to lock your things up,” he said.

Powers said other Brookings police officers know of the incidents and the police department is providing extra patrol in that area.