Break in at Wheeler Hall

The last thing that Joe Longobardi expected when returning to his suite in Wheeler hall after hearing news of a fire alarm on September 23rd was to find that it had been broken into.

 Upon getting back to his suite, he found that there was trash on the floor, the screen of the window was missing and the handle and shades had also been torn off of the window. Once his suitemate returned, the group of guys discovered that there were multiple electronics missing, as well as two hundred dollars.

The CA was informed and Public Safety was called, and the process of documenting and gathering information began.

Public Safety director Keith Molinari says that according to the statistics put out by the office, there are approximately two to six burglaries on campus per school year. Molinari has been at Castleton since April of 2014 and prior to this, he worked as an assistant director of Public Safety in the SUNY system and at the Sullivan county sheriff’s department.

Molinari explained that there is only so much that Public Safety can do in situations such as these, since the police are involved in the sense of criminal activity happening, and Public Safety deals with internal discipline.

Public Safety and Residence Life work in tandem in many situations that occur on campus, especially those incidents that happen in residence halls.

Molinari explained that the two departments meet two times a week. One day is devoted to discussing the incidents of the previous week, and the second meeting involves who is doing what when and where in order to deal with situations that have occurred that are still open cases, as well as trying to prevent future instances.

“The vast majority of our students are honest, decent people,” Molinari said.

When asked what the student population should know and do in order to help prevent becoming victims of similar situations, Molinari had a few tips.

“Always keep the door locked, including suite doors,” Molinari said.

By being certain that doors are locked, it helps Public Safety be able to be sure that anyone being in the suite was there unlawfully and without permission.

 He also recommended that students register their electronics with the campus IT services, because they have the ability to trace some electronics through that system.

When asked if he feels less safe on campus because he has been the victim of a burglary, Longobardi said “Absolutely not,” explaining that although it’s a bad situation and that he wishes it didn’t happen, he understands that this is something that happens at colleges all over the country, and that he doesn’t feel any differently about the community on campus because this has happened to him. 

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