It’s not every day that an Albion College student wakes up to a stranger walking into their room and asking where Baldwin Hall is.
But the Oct. 5 incident was only one of three separate, unrelated crimes that happened in a three-day span, according to Ken Snyder, director of campus safety. It has been five years since a similar string of unrelated incidents occurred, Snyder said.
“It was in September; we had a student robbed, and then a student assaulted within the same week,” Snyder said. “One was over by the chapel, and then somebody was assaulted over by the fraternities. Somebody else was approached. We had three of these things in a week, but since then, nothing.”
The man, described as an African-American in his early twenties, entered Whitehouse Hall at roughly 9:00 a.m., according to Snyder. Ten dollars was discovered stolen from a ground floor room, and around twenty students reported seeing the man in both Whitehouse and Seaton Halls.
On Oct. 6, the Albion Department of Public Safety arrested an individual downtown who they consider to be a “person of interest” in the case.
“We arrested the individual on outstanding warrants on an unrelated charge,” said Eric Miller, chief of the Albion Department of Public Safety. “We’re in the process of getting a photo line-up together for the victims. My understanding is that since he has been locked up there have been no more incidents. (He will probably be charged with) home invasion if positively identified.”
According to Snyder, the individual may also have committed a Sept. 11 theft in Vulgamore Hall.
“We had a report of some money stolen from a faculty member’s office,” Snyder said. “It was in the middle of the day, and we now think that was the same person who was in Whitehouse and Seaton because the descriptions were similar.”
On Oct. 3, at 12:30 a.m., a female student walking home next to the science complex was assaulted and had property taken by an unidentified assailant.
Also on Oct. 3, at 1:14 a.m., a member of the housekeeping staff called for assistance after a recent Albion graduate attempted to enter the Kellogg Center and knocked her to the ground when she would not let him in. The man, who is now barred from campus, was arraigned on assault charges, according to Eric Miller, chief of Albion Department of Public Safety.
Using common sense can prevent the majority of crimes of that nature, according to Snyder. Tips include locking room doors and not admitting strangers into the building.
“I’m not blaming the kid who woke up and found somebody in his room; it’s not his fault that somebody chose to do that,” Snyder said. “My guess is that this person (in Whitehouse Hall) probably just drifted in behind somebody who opened the door. That can be a difficult situation because I can’t expect every student to suddenly stop and say, ‘Who are you? I don’t know if you’re a student or not.’ But if those things are followed, it’s pretty rare.”
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