The University has experienced several break-ins in cars with valuables in plain sight, as well as a non-Greek house which lost personal items and a patio table. One student spotted what looked like an assault rifle from a passing car.
The Redlands Bulldog spoke to the President of Wadadawa Rengi Wengi (WRW), Yelena Bivian. WRW is a non-Greek sisterhood that focuses on diversity and activism, community services and womanhood. The break-in happened last August at their house on sorority row.
“There was no forced entry of the house. None of the doors were jammed, none of the windows were broken,” Bivian said.
Public Safety was contacted the day the theft was discovered, on move-in day. So far, no culprits have been identified.
Some smaller bedroom/bathroom items were stolen, as well as a glass patio table. Due to the size of the table, stealing it would likely require at least 2 people, and since it was located in an enclosed back-yard, the table must have been taken through the house. It couldn’t have been a WRW member since they don’t have keys over the summer. Even if someone got a key or the house was left unlocked, the alarm would have sounded if it wasn’t disabled. Only Public Safety and residents have the alarm code.
“I don’t care about the stuff that was stolen. I care about my safety and my roommates’ safety,” Bivian said.
Alpha Theta Phi, a Greek sorority, proposed setting up surveillance cameras at the sorority houses to the Director of Housing, Cassandra Morton, at the campus meeting during the first few weeks of school. The University, along with Public Safety and the Housing Department, hasn’t gotten back to the sororities about this idea.
University Facilities had no information about whether the items had been collected for repair or cleaning. If they were responsible for the missing items, they failed to inform WRW when it happened or in the last couple of months.
On Sept. 17, a student reported a dark blue Toyota Prius heading west on Sylvan Boulevard. with what looked like an assault rifle extending from the left back window. The person didn’t aim it at the student, and Public Safety arrived shortly after. Redlands Police said that there haven’t been any similar reports, so it appears to have been an isolated occurrence.
“It remains unknown whether the observed object was a real or replica weapon,” Chief Talbott said.
Students were alerted that day of five recent reports of vehicles being broken into, all during evening or night. Each incident was reported with P-Safe and forwarded to the Redlands Police Department. There was video footage of possible suspects, but Redlands Police hasn’t followed up with any new information.
Chief Talbott referred to the break-ins as “crimes of opportunity where the vehicle owners had left items inside their locked cars.” Public Safety urges students, and anyone visiting campus, to hide or remove all possessions of value, particularly if leaving their car overnight. Even something as innocuous as a backpack can motivate someone to break-in.
On Sept. 26, Public Safety alerted the school of an off-campus armed robbery on Cornell Avenue near North University Street. Since it had no connection to the University, Redlands Police solely handled the incident.
As Public Safety announced on Sept. 18, the annual crime and fire report is available online, and daily statistics can be found in Public Safety’s office at the Willis Center. The data shows that despite these incidents, crime has been relatively low compared to previous years.
Public Safety officers are actively patrolling the campus and are in constant communication with Redlands Police. Please contact them with any concerns.
“The University believes awareness and education are key prevention components toward keeping our community informed and safe,” Chief Talbott said.
Any questions, suspicions and reports should be directed to Public Safety at (909) 748-8888, or ext. 8888 from a campus phone.
Public Safety keeps students apprised of safety issues via the email bulletin Bulldog Be Safe. If not already, Redlands Students should regularly be checking their school email for such alerts.