What was initially thought to have been a string of burglaries in Fore Hall is now being reported as having occurred at the same time, taking place sometime between Jan. 4-15 during the winter break.
As many as six to eight separate offices have reported missing items, ranging from an Apple iPad, a Nikon Coolpix camera, a gargoyle statuette, and other miscellaneous items.
Dr. Michelle Johnson-Vela, chair of the department and associate professor of Spanish, states that perpetrators entered through the vented grates of the office doors. “Some items were taken, food was eaten, [and] inappropriate content was viewed on at least one faculty computer,” said Johnson-Vela.
Johnson-Vela’s main concern at this point is that the appropriate security precautions have not yet been established by the University Police Department to assure that these burglaries do not happen again.
“The grates have not been replaced or altered…if the doors need to be replaced, they need to move forward with this,” Johnson-Vela noted.
According to Chief Felipe Garza, UPD suspects that the individuals responsible for the burglary are likely one or more juveniles, due to the nature of the vandalism that occurred. “We had a few leads as far as a list of names. Unfortunately, all leads have turned up dry and we are currently exploring other avenues,” said Garza.
Other than the items reported missing, a visibly tampered candy bowl and an assortment of copy paper strewn across the floor also led to Chief Garza’s suspicion that the break-ins were perpetrated by juvenile youths.
Anyone with information pertaining to the burglaries, or who may be privy to any suspicious activity on campus, is advised to call UPD at: (361) 593-2583.
Students, faculty, and staff are also able to notify UPD officials anonymously through the “tips” functionality via the JavGuard app.
Follow Raul Altamirano on Twitter: @raulsotx