The independent news organization of Duke University

Updated: Students find suspicious person inside their Edens dorm room

A DukeALERT was issued at about 9 p.m. Friday after two students found a suspicious person in their West Campus dorm room.

The subject—who neither student knew, and who has since left the area—was described as an approximately 30-year-old male between 6 feet and 6 feet 5, with “medium complexion” and a short buzz cut. Clothes the subject was wearing when the students entered the room included a long sleeve blue and white checked shirt, khaki pants and tan shoes.

No injuries were reported by Duke Police, which also reminded students to keep their doors locked and to report any suspicious behavior.

John Dailey, chief of the Duke University Police Department, wrote in an email that the subject was able to enter the room because the door was not locked. He added that no possessions were taken from the dorm room.

“So my friend's dorm in Edens got broken into last night and DUPD downplayed the whole thing—called the middle aged man just a 'suspicious person'—and misquoted them in the report,” wrote sophomore Robin Yeh in a post on the Fix My Campus Facebook group Sunday.

DUPD misquoted Yeh’s friend by releasing details describing the subject as having “medium complexion,” despite the friend saying the subject had “light skin,” Yeh noted in the post, which received more than 80 reactions on Facebook.

Yeh criticized the lack of security measures in the aftermath of the incident, noting that there were “no cameras to go off of.”

“Doesn't that seem like a simple solution to have at least something put a face to this guy or get a license plate if he drove?” she wrote.

In April, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh wrote in an email that the University had installed security cameras on Central Campus. Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, wrote in an email that East Campus residence halls were equipped with cameras as well.

Dailey noted in June that DUPD would be installing cameras in West Campus residence halls in the upcoming year.

In a later email, he added that that DUPD is currently pursuing this case, which has been assigned to the department's investigators.

Editor's note: this article was updated at 10 p.m. Friday to include information from Dailey, at 9 p.m. Sunday to include information from the Fix My Campus Facebook post and at 11:45 a.m. Monday to include a further response from Dailey.


Share and discuss “Updated: Students find suspicious person inside their Edens dorm room” on social media.