Students were surprised to receive an email over Fall Break regarding multiple recent burglary and theft incidents on and near campus. On Oct. 15, Villanova Public Safety sent an email to students and staff notifying them of the nature of the incidents, as well as tips to stay as safe as possible while on campus. 8
The message detailed that the first incident took place on Sept. 29, in which an unlocked vehicle was stolen from the I-1 garage on Ithan Avenue. The vehicle was found later in the day in Philadelphia, and it was discovered that a male juvenile that is not affiliated with the University committed the theft. Four other students reported items were stolen from their cars in the same parking lot at approximately the same time that the vehicle was stolen. In the email, Public Safety purports that “All of the vehicle-related thefts are considered related, as property from those thefts was recovered from the same stolen vehicle.”
When asked about parking garage safety, junior Carlie Brady described, “I have left my car key under the tire of my car before going for a run on campus. After these recent incidents, I will always ensure my car is locked, and I will ensure to carry it while running.”
The second incident described in the message took place in the Stop-N-Shop Shell Gas Station at the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and Spring Mill Road (next to Campus Corner). Overnight on Oct. 13, an unknown person(s) burglarized the gas station. Radnor Police are still investigating this incident.
Finally, a burglary occurred on campus on Oct. 14 at 11:50 p.m. An unidentified person entered a residence hall room on the first floor of Good Counsel Hall. The room was vacant since the incident occurred over fall break, and the residents of the room have been notified. The burglar acquired access to the dorm room via an unlocked window on the first floor, and it is unknown at this time if anything was taken. Only one room was entered during the incident. The subject is seen on security footage in the lobby of Good Counsel Hall, and a photo was attached to the email sent to faculty and students. Furthermore, the message states that “this incident is currently under investigation by the Villanova University Police, who are being assisted by crime scene personnel from the Pennsylvania State Police.”
Gwynn Mak, a junior living on the first floor of Jackson Hall explained, “I made sure all of the windows in my apartment were locked before leaving for break, and now I’m glad I always remember to do that.”
She appreciates that many RAs tell their students to lock their doors and windows since the incident could have happened to any student on the first floor of a dorm.
Isabella Bruck expressed concern about how many students use tape to keep their door from locking. This can be dangerous since anyone can walk into these dorm rooms. She feels that Public Safety should monitor the status of each door’s lock to ensure students are keeping themselves and their belongings safe.
In response to these incidents, the University has increased police patrols in the area, enhancing CCTV security coverage in the area and assessing the need for additional safety and security measures. Students and faculty hope that these precautions will maintain safety on the University’s campus and anticipate that similar incidents will not reoccur.