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Burglary cases may be linked

Bill Brink | Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Notre Dame Security/Police (NDSP) has received new information about burglaries in Lyons Hall last week that may identify a suspect and link him to similar crimes at Valparaiso University, NDSP director Phil Johnson said Monday in an e-mail to The Observer.

During the burglary, three laptops and two wallets were stolen from two unlocked rooms last Wednesday, NDSP assistant director Dave Chapman said last week.

Johnson said “several people” had seen the man NDSP considers to be a suspect. He was described as a black male, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-11, with a thin build, “frizzy, long, black hair” in a pony tail or braid, possibly bad or missing teeth and possibly facial stubble, Johnson said.

The man had a duffle-type bag, Johnson said, and entered unlocked rooms when students were present. When he saw the students, he asked for someone by name who did not live in the room, Johnson said.

NDSP learned from Valparaiso that similar robberies took place on its campus in recent months, and the suspect matched the description NDSP had, Johnson said.

“[The] suspect ask[ed] for someone using the same fictitious name used at [Notre Dame] when confronted by students in the residence halls at Valparaiso,” Johnson said.

Chapman said last week the police assumed the two thefts, which took place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. last Wednesday, were related.

Johnson asked students to contact NDSP at 574-631-5555 and to refrain from attempting to confront or detain the suspect.