Burglars have struck at least two student homes on Bank Street between Prospect and M streets in the past few weeks.
The latest burglary occurred Wednesday, according to Andrew Brewster (COL ’11), whose house was burglarized at about 4 p.m. Elizabeth Chapman (COL ’11), who lives across the street from Brewster, said her house was broken into on March 3.
While eight students live in the house with Brewster, only three people were home when the suspect entered through a back door off his second-floor patio. According to Brewster, the gate to that area is usually locked, but it was left open on the day of the burglary. He said that the suspect then entered through an unlocked sliding door.
The suspect then broke into Brewster’s bedroom door by picking the lock and stole a laptop, iPod and a camera valued at about $700. The suspect also took two laptops from another bedroom and the living room.
Brewster said that his cleaning crew saw the suspect while he was in the house and asked if he was employed by the landlord. The suspect replied that he was an electrician and quickly left through the main floor entrance.
One of the workers in the cleaning service caught the suspect on video with his iPod as he was leaving. The worker questioned the man one last time, but the suspect maintained that he was an electrician.
When one of the residents realized that his laptop was gone, the suspect had already left the property.
Brewster said that the residents reported the burglary to the Metropolitan Police Department, which wrote a police report and sent over a crime scene investigation unit. Brewster also sent officials the video, but has not received any updates
Brewster partially blamed the incident on a failure to remain vigilant and lock doors.
“I think people get pretty lazy about it,” Brewster said. “Day-to-day, it’s pretty easy to lose track of the reality.”
Chapman said that the burglary at her residence took place some time between 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on March 3. She said she was gone for the day, and upon her return at about 6:30 p.m., she immediately knew that someone had been in her room.
Two laptops were stolen from the apartment, one from Chapman’s room while her roommate was sleeping. Chapman believes the suspect entered through an unlocked window on the ground floor of the building.
She also said that her iPod, which was on her desk next to her computer, was not taken.
Chapman reported the burglary to the Department of Public Safety and MPD. DPS did not have a comment at press time.
Chapman said that DPS did not report the crime because it was not confirmed as a break-in.
Brewster is suspect that the burglaries are linked. He said he is hoping that the video will help identify the suspect and said that he has reason to believe that the suspect had been in his house before. He said that his entrance through the second-floor patio was unusual and that the house had been broken into over the summer.
Brewster also said that another student house in the area was burglarized on March 3, an incident that could be linked to those at both his and Chapman’s residences.
A Georgetown resident told The Hoya that her house at 33rd and Prospect Streets, a block away from Bank Street, was burglarized on March 11 during the day. A laptop and jewelry were stolen. The burglary was reported to MPD and DPS.