Burglarized again

Jessie Markovetz

Three University cash-to-chip machines were drilled open and burglarized late last week with the thief removing an unknown amount of money, the Department of Public Safety reported last Friday.

Dave Mann, associate director of Public Safety, said the investigation is still ongoing. No suspects have been named.

The burglaries are identical to a string of thefts that occurred Jan. 20, when four machines in the laundry rooms of Sullivan Hall, Stanford Hall and Corr Hall and the first floor of Sheehan Hall were broken into with a drill. The perpetrator was never caught.

“We had a composite last March, but some people said he was short, someone else said he was tall … it was inconsistent,” said Mann.

Public Safety, as well as the Wildcard Office and the Office for Residence Life, considered the danger to residents living in halls where the burglaries were taking place. As a result, machines in most residence halls have been turned off.

“We are in no way punishing students,” said Kathy Gallagher, assistant director of the Wildcard Office. “We’re looking at the security of the students. It is going to take a bit of planning on their part to make sure they have enough money on their chip before doing laundry [late at night].”

Dr. Christine Lysionek, director of Residence Life, does not believe turning the machines off will create problems.

“The public machines can be accessed until 2 a.m.,” she said, mentioning that the machines in Tolentine Hall, Bartley Hall, the Connelly Center and the Falvey library are all open late.

Public Safety has also agreed to install a cash-to-chip machine in their headquarters in Farrell Hall, which is open 24 hours a day.

Lysionek said some machines in residence halls were moved to public areas outside of laundry rooms, meaning they may not be turned off.

Though the intention was not to inconvenience students, some feel deactivating the machines will be more of a bother than a security benefit.

Sophomore Meghan Barrett, who lives in Sullivan Hall, understands the need for security, “but it’s probably more of an inconvenience,” she said.

“Lots of people trying to do laundry were upset by it,” she said.

Barrett added, “I don’t know how they can make it more secure, though.”

Debra Patch, an investigator with Public Safety, offered a reward of 500 Wildcard points to any student who provides information that identifies the perpetrator from last semester.

The department plans to issue the same reward for this semester.

Gallagher said the deactivated machines have not yet been marked for removal from their respective residence halls.

“We will evaluate the situation further and decide what to do with them later,” she said.