Rumors of a robber hiding in Pegram residence hall caused a storm of confusion for Pegram residents early Friday morning.

According to an email sent to Pegram residents by Residence Coordinator Daniel Flowers, a young male who was not a Duke student approached Pegram Resident Assistant Tripp Whaley, a sophomore, around midnight Friday morning while Whaley was making rounds. The man reportedly asked Whaley for assistance, claiming that another man had stolen money from him and fled into Pegram behind a student. Duke University Police Department was notified at 12:24 a.m.

Whaley, Flowers and a DUPD officer found the alleged robber in a stairwell and escorted him outside, where he and the man who reported the alleged incident were questioned by the police. It was later determined that no crime had occurred.

“This does not discount the fact that, for a brief time, this was a scary moment for many of the residents in Pegram,” Flowers wrote in the email to the residence hall, noting that no weapons were present and no violence occurred.

The man who falsely reported being robbed was arrested for filing a false police report and “resist[ing], delay[ing], and obstruct[ing],” according to the DUPD weekly crime summary from last week that is part of the Duke Community Safety Report. Durham County Inmate Population records identify the man as 20-year old Mason Good and note that there was a $5,000 bond for resisting a police officer. The man who was falsely accused of the theft was not identified, though students described him as a “tall, black male” and Flowers’ email noted that he had a beard. Neither man is affiliated with Duke.

Freshman Henry Feng saw the man later found in the stairwell walking through the first floor hallway. He appeared dazed and lost, later attempting to exit the building from the side door—which was locked—Feng said.

“All of us who were on the first floor at that time didn’t think it was a problem,” he said. “We shrugged it off because it was Parents Weekend [and] we didn’t want to confront him if he was a parent.”

Freshman Kunaal Sharma reported seeing the man while working in the third floor study room. The man walked into the room and looked around before asking Sharma for a chair. He then changed his mind and left, according to Sharma.

Ten minutes after Sharma saw the man enter the room, he finished studying and encountered a group of students in the hallway talking about what had happened and mentioning that a computer was stolen—which later turned out to be an unsubstantiated rumor.

He said that he did not think the man outside Pegram—who originally reported being robbed—should have been arrested.

“It sounded more like they were trying to do some sort of prank or something stupid,” Sharma said. “I don’t think they meant to do any harm, but you shouldn’t lie to a police officer.”

Some students felt there could be improvements to dorm safety.

“I think cameras in the hallways might be a good idea but other than that I’d say we live in a pretty safe community,” Sharma said.

Vice President of Administration Kyle Cavanaugh wrote in an email that the situation did not warrant a Duke Alert to the entire campus. He encouraged students to take measures to prevent future incidents from occurring.

“We always want our students to be ensuring they lock their doors and to not allow access to non-students,” Cavanaugh wrote. “In addition, we want any student to contact the Duke police should they see anything out of the ordinary.”