A series of dormitory burglaries has prompted Duke University Police Department to increase its presence on West Campus and near on-campus residence halls.

The burglaries—most of which took place during the latter part of orientation week and upperclassmen move-in—affected several residents, primarily in Few and Keohane quadrangles. DUPD’s Community Safety Report states that between last Thursday and last Saturday, four incidences of larceny were reported in Few GG and Few HH, and that last Saturday alone there were three reports of property theft in Keohane 4A.

As a result of the increased number of thefts around upperclassmen move-in—which also included reports of larceny in Edens 2C and Kilgo P—DUPD is trying to ramp up its security presence on campus, explained Chief of Police John Dailey and Dean for Residential Life Joe Gonzalez.

“Periodically, we do have a rash of thefts in the residence halls, and opening and closing are the times where the communities are the most susceptible to that type of behavior,” Gonzalez said.

The move-in thefts have come at a busy time for DUPD, which also charged a man with second-degree sexual assault last Friday and is still investigating an on-campus car accident that occurred Sunday, Dailey noted in an email Wednesday. Another burglary was reported Tuesday at the 1914 Lewis Street apartments on Central Campus, and two were reported the same day in Pegram on East Campus.

Dailey noted that several police investigators are working to solve the thefts, but all cases are listed as “closed,” which the report explains means they were “reviewed and inactivated due to lack of solvability factors.” The report also says closed cases may be reactivated if new information becomes available.

“Unfortunately, in situations like this it can be difficult to determine who might have been responsible,” Gonzalez said.

He noted that the types of items stolen varied but that most could be considered “thefts of opportunity.”

“Whoever was doing it grabbed random things, so it varied from person to person what might have been stolen,” Gonzalez said.

Sophomore John Lu, who lives in Few HH, said his room was broken into Saturday. He said that after returning from lunch, one of his bags was open and that it appeared as though someone had gone through his boxes. Although nothing major was taken, his room and mailbox keys and a pair of flip-flops were missing.

“I was fortunate enough that I didn’t lose anything valuable,” Lu said. “I felt annoyed by the experience having someone violate my personal space. That’s a feeling no Duke student should experience.”

Lu was also surprised to find that he had been charged $95 to replace his lock. Although Duke Campus Mail Services has waived his fee for a new key, Housing, Dining and Residence Life has not.

Gonzalez noted that students could appeal this charge to Debbie Lo Biondo, associate dean for West Campus, who has the power to waive the fee for “extenuating circumstances.”

Lu suggested that Duke Student Government should set up a fund to help reimburse students who are the victims of burglaries for the cost of getting their locks changed.

“I’m concerned about other students who had even more stolen and the students who could not afford to pay the $95 lock change fee charged by HDRL,” Lu said.

The string of burglaries also highlight concerns about security on Duke’s campus. Currently, there are few security cameras on West Campus, Gonzalez noted. He said that there have been discussions about the “need and appropriateness” in the past about adding them, but that the recent string of incidents has not been an impetus for action.

“That discussion is still ongoing as we try to figure out what Duke wants in terms of cameras,” he said.

For now, he explained that HDRL had been working to communicate tips to students on how to avoid burglaries. In emails to Keohane and Few residents, Gonzalez asked students to lock their doors, be attentive of their surroundings when entering dormitories and to report suspicious people in the residence halls.