When kinesiology senior Kaylee Finney left for her East Lansing apartment late Christmas night, she hoped to gun down enemies in her new Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 video game.
She soon realized, however, that a different type of enemy already found her. Finney was one of about 30 burglaries, home invasions and larcenies from buildings and cars that occurred and were reported during the MSU winter break from Dec. 15 to Jan. 6, according to CrimeMapping.com, the MSU Clery Crime and Fire Log and East Lansing police Sgt. Mike Phillips.
Walking through her apartment, Finney realized she wouldn’t get a chance to try out her new game — her PlayStation 3 and a TV were missing.
Larceny from cars: 1
Larceny from buildings: 6
Home invasions: 2
Larceny from cars: 4
Larceny from buildings: 7
Home invasions: 10
Larceny from cars: 5
Larceny from buildings: 13
Home invasions: 12
What else you missed:
Alleged I-96 shooter Raulie Casteel, an MSU alumnus, was charged with terrorism, Michigan’s Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Dec. 20. Casteel also faces assault with intent to murder and multiple felony weapons charges after allegedly going on a shooting spree involving 24 people and committing crimes across several counties during October.
Source: Clery Crime and Fire Log, CrimeMapping.com, ELPD Sgt. Mike Phillips
“What kind of person would do that on Christmas day?” Finney said. “Every time I leave the apartment now, it’s kind of scary. I don’t know if everything’s going to be there when I get back.”
Kinney said her neighbors also were broken into and robbed, and she has heard of similar incidents during past winter breaks.
“It always seems logical that if half the town is empty” there will be break-ins, East Lansing police Capt. Jeff Murphy said.
Robberies and home invasions often occur during winter break when students go home and community members travel for the holidays, leaving their homes unoccupied.
Murphy said the number of break-ins could be higher as students often don’t know if their home or dorm has been broken into or robbed until the first several days of the semester when they return.
“It’s unfortunate these things do happen, but this university is a secure university,” MSU police Sgt. Dan Munford said. “The university has taken huge stances with the access card control.”
During winter break, campus buildings had different and limited hours of availability, access cards were required for entry into dorms and it was documented who was allowed in the buildings, Munford said.
Murphy said ELPD officers were alert to the possibility of break-ins during break and checked common student areas such as apartment complexes.
“We always tell people when they leave town (to) get a … friend to keep an eye on (their homes),” Murphy said.
“The big thing is just make sure your home is secure when you leave.”
He said anyone who suspects their home might have been broken into should not enter their residence for safety reasons and immediately call the police.
He also said the chances of finding the stolen property increase when all stolen items are reported to the police with serial numbers.