University of Wisconsin-Madison freshman and Sellery resident Caitlin Wagner said she had always felt safe in her dorm room until she woke up one night to find a strange man dressed in black breaking open her door.
The UW-Madison Police Department reported an 18- to 20-year-old white male opening the doors of several residents’ dorm rooms Sellery Hall’s B Tower, located at 821 W. Johnson St., early Friday morning.
The suspect left the room when the residents were awake, but he stole items from rooms in which the residents were sleeping, according to UWPD Sgt. Aaron Chapin.
Wagner said she locked her door and turned off the lights late Thursday night only to wake up 45 minutes later to a stranger in her room.
Although she yelled at him to leave, the stranger did not leave her floor immediately.
“By the time I went to talk to my [House Fellow] about 5 minutes later, he was still lurking in the hall,” Wagner said.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said students should “always be incredibly careful about locking your doors, even when you are in the dorms or in your dorm room at night.”
While the UWPD tries to create a safe campus community, Resnick said break-ins and burglaries do occur in residence halls.
“Burglaries are a difficult crime to deal with,” Resnick said. “They can literally happen within 15 seconds of somebody opening a door.”
The UWPD said students should report any suspicious behavior to the House Fellow on duty, the UWPD or call 911 if the situation is an emergency.