Campus theft, attempted robbery still mystery

Shelby Le Duc, Editor-in-Chief

Two crimes were reported on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus during the first week of April.

UW-Platteville Chief of Police Scott Marquardt and Director of Information and Communications Paul Erickson sent campus-wide texts and email notifications to students and faculty members through the Rave Alert system.

The alerts described the first incident, which occurred on April 1, as a burglary in Royce Hall, where two suspects reportedly gained access to the ResNet Office through a back door.
Subsequently, the suspects stole approximately $8,000 worth of equipment, which included multiple iPads.

The second crime was reported as an attempted robbery regarding a female student who was walking by Doudna Hall on April 3 during the night.

The student described her attacker as a male, taller than 5’10” with dark hair.

Marquardt mentioned that, because these crimes are different in nature, they are more than likely not related to each other.

However, that possibility is always considered and taken seriously.

Both of these crimes are still under thorough investigation and no one has come forward with any information at this time.

The University Police Department was unable to comment on details, such as fingerprint dusting, whether or not the iPads and computers were password-protected or if the electronics’ GPS’s were activated, regarding the theft of the electronics from the ResNet Office.

Other crimes of this nature occurred throughout the duration of the academic year.

“I don’t think it’s because it’s [the issue with campus-related crimes] happening more often, but rather that people are reporting crimes more. We are doing a better job of sending out notifications,” Erickson said.
UW-Platteville is planning to implement a new Smartphone application called Guardian.

This app will allow students to compose a message at any given time, describing their current location and the estimated time of arrival at their destination.

The sender can then choose recipients on duty, such as Marquardt, to send the information.

The message will be received, notifying the officer or Safe Walk security of the student’s whereabouts and when he or she plans on arriving at a specific destination.

The university police, along with other organizations, are consistently researching the app in order to learn more about the possible benefits and any other implications.

“I think this app adds another layer of safety to what we already have,” Marquardt said. “We have a relatively safe campus. However, it’s because of this that people don’t use the tools, such as the emergency call boxes.”

Erickson took a similar approach to the issue.

“Unfortunately, it’s in the nature of our jobs that we get reports about incidents like these,” Erickson said. “If you look at other campuses, we don’t have the same magnitude of crimes that, for instance, affect an entire residence hall.”

Marquardt added that he hopes this app will inspire people to take ownership of their safety.

Some indviduals are concerned that the University Police and Platteville Police Departments place a higher emphasis on tackling issues regarding underage drinking rather than campus safety, but Marquardt believes that there is often a relation between these two primary concerns on campus.

“Underage enforcement is based upon behavior and conduct, as well as the process of investigating that behavior,” Marquardt said. “It’s sexual assault awareness month and in 90 percent of these incidents, alcohol is involved, whether it be the suspect or the victim.”

The hope is that by eliminating the irresponsible usage of alcohol, crimes of all types on campus will be reduced.

The university police stress the viewing of the “Safety Tips” section on the campus police website.

They have a video series titled “360 Stay Safe” that includes tips on relationships, traveling safety and identity protection.

If anyone has any information about these or other crimes, contact the university police at (608) 342 1584.