News

Leo Burglaries Stopped, Suspect Arrested

By C. Garrett Keidel, Social Media Editor

A recent string of burglaries on south campus have been stopped due to the joint efforts of the New York Police Department’s 50th Precinct and Manhattan College Public Safety.

Leo Hall, which houses the School of Engineering as well as the communication department, has seen a recent string of burglary attempts on Dec. 26, 2019, Jan. 5, 2020 and Jan.29, 2020. A suspect was arrested by the NYPD in the early morning hours of January 29th, and is currently involved in what is being described as an ongoing police investigation.

According to Director of Public Safety, Peter DeCaro, the same suspect was also arrested for the burglary of Leo Hall taking place on Jan. 5th, but was released due to new
NY State bail laws. The accused suspect has been linked to all three burglaries between Dec. 26, 2019 and Jan. 29, 2020.

Manhattan College students did not receive a notification of the burglaries through the campus alert system. DeCaro confirmed this was because there were no students, faculty or employees in the building at the time and “there were no threats to students or
other members of the college community”.

There have been no reported lost, stolen or damaged goods at the moment. David
Erosa, associate director of Public Safety, described it as an ongoing investigation. The
Quad contacted the Office of the Dean for the School of Engineering for a comment regarding possible property stolen or damage, but they declined to comment, also citing the ongoing police investigation.

According to DeCaro, the accused suspect is a career criminal whose motive was to
enter the building and look for small items with no direct targets.

“When I learned of the burglary, I immediately checked all of our facilities in Leo and confirmed that nothing was taken from our areas. The communication department has extra security features to protect our student equipment and facilities,” said Michael Grabowski, Ph.D., Chair of the communication department.

Grabowski also mentioned an attention to safety of Leo with respect to the construction next door.

“I am concerned about the security lapses caused by the construction of the STEM
building next to Leo and Leo Science and Engineering renovations. Several times I have seen construction crew members prop open exterior doors that should be closed and
locked,” he said.

Leo Hall is currently fitted with multiple forms of security. The building gets locked by Public Safety between the hours of 11 p.m. and midnight along with monitoring by
security cameras, a burglar alarm, and routine round completed by public safety officers throughout the night.

Grabowski hopes that efforts to restore the security of the building will soon be in
place. “It is my hope that these concerns are addressed, and the completion of construction will restore a secure environment needed for the college,” said Grabowski.

Public safety urges Manhattan students to stay aware of their surroundings especially while entering the ID swiping entrances of Leo Hall and RLC. When carding into the
building, be conscious of who you may also be holding the door for, and allowing into the building(s).

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