Party thefts plague off-campus students

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October 3, 2008

1:36 AM

Many students have lost valuables after attending or throwing parties at The College of William and Mary. Unfortunately, these thefts aren’t new to the College. Year after year, new stories surface about missing property, spoiling the otherwise enjoyable atmosphere of school parties.

Jake Reeder ’09 was a victim of one of these thefts. Reeder threw a birthday party on Rolfe Road earlier this year and found over $3,000 in valuables missing halfway through the party. The burglars stole Reeder’s laptop, external hard drive, speakers, television, watch and small camera, as well as money, cell phones and cameras from guest purses.

“I found my bedroom door locked,” Reeder said. “We had been using it for storage. It was odd because it wasn’t supposed to be locked.”

Thieves left Reeder’s house through the bedroom window. After finding his property missing, Reeder immediately sent guests home and called the Williamsburg Police Department.

“The first officer on the scene didn’t seem too interested in the investigation whatsoever.” Reeder said. “But, after that, the police were very helpful and cooperative.”

Reeder didn’t know everyone at the party personally, but felt that all guests were somehow connected to those he had invited to the party.

“They all seemed like students,” Reeder said.

There is an ongoing investigation concerning the missing property.

Many other clubs and fraternities have found valuables missing at the end of festivities. Organizations are, however, collectively working to prevent these thefts in the future. Earlier this year, the Council of Fraternity Affairs warned fraternity presidents about suspicious activities involving town residents at student parties.

Earlier this year, the brothers of Delta Chi reported people they considered suspicious at one of their recruitment events off Indian Springs Rd.

“I wouldn’t have thought twice about them [had I not been warned by the CFA],” Delta Chi president Jon Delong ’09 said.

According to brothers of the fraternity, three young men exhibited suspicious behavior at the party, sitting at the edge of the party and pretending to sleep on the couch.

“They weren’t socializing, doing anything, not integrating to the party,” Delong said.

Another brother said they appeared not to know anyone else at the party.

“They looked like they could be students, but something was off about them,” Delta Chi brother Tyler Carwell ’11 said. “They weren’t talking to anyone.”

When questioned about their identity, the young men claimed to be freshmen at the College, but couldn’t name their dorms. After being asked to leave for failing to produce College ID cards, one of the young men sprinted away from the Indian Springs house toward campus. City police were immediately called to question the two remaining men.

“They didn’t seem phased after being cuffed,” Delong said. “If that had happened to me, I would have been livid. I haven’t heard of anything since.”

Williamsburg police advise students to be cautious when throwing parties.

“Know who you’re inviting, stay sober, and lock the doors of the rooms that you don’t want people going into,” Williamsburg Watch Commander Rick Wanamaker said.

Wanamaker also recommends marking the serial number of valuables such as computers, televisions, and cameras when you purchase them.

“That way it’s easier to track your things,” Wanamaker said.

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