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Apartments hit by burglaries over break

Michaels, Amanda | Thursday, January 15, 2004

Several student apartments in the College Park complex were broken into between Dec. 19 and Dec. 31 while tenants were away on winter break. The burglar entered through the front door of several of the units between 18115 and 18121 Bulla Road, and broke through the firewall in a closet to access adjacent apartments through the attic, reported The South Bend Tribune. Several items were reported stolen when the students returned to their apartments last week, including laptop computers, video gaming systems and DVDs. Students were informed of the break-ins through notes left in their apartments, which stated that any damage sustained had been fixed, said tenant Molly Walsh.”I got a phone call from my boyfriend over break – that’s how I found out,” Walsh said. “We didn’t get any calls from College Park or the police, and I think we should have, just to let us know what’s going on, and even though it’s not really their responsibility, I think they could have had somebody patrolling the area while we were gone,” she said. Paramount Management, the first-year management company for College Park, did have a security patrol earlier in the year after a similar robbery, but the patrol was stopped after no further incidents were reported, property manager Louann Susan said.”Right now, it looks as if there’s going to be [a patrol] over spring break. It’s hard to control any large residence area like College Park, but we’re currently working on other options to see how we can make the complex’s security better,” Susan said.There are no suspects in the case, in part because many victims have yet to contact police, said St. Joseph County Police Department spokeswoman Jaimee Thirion.”There were seven initial reports, but as of yet, nobody has called us to say ‘We’re missing this,’ so it’s been difficult to pin down the exact nature of the crime,” she said.Despite the incident, students said they are still comfortable with the safety of the College Park complex.”I don’t really feel less safe, and I don’t think it’ll happen again, and nothing’s ever been taken while students have been there,” Walsh said. “It’s a shame that this happened, but [College Park] is still a good apartment complex.”Senior Meghan Kelly, whose apartment was not burglarized, expressed similar sentiment.”I wasn’t really shocked,” she said of the break-ins, adding that they did not affect her feeling of security in the complex.”I guess it’s kind of always in the back of my mind … I make sure the doors are locked when I’m home alone, but it’s not something that I worry about,” Kelly said.

The South Bend Tribune contributed to this report.