By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
A current and former student were arrested last week and charged with two counts of burglary for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars in DVDs and other merchandise from rooms in Mabee Hall.
The two students, roommates at the time, stole the items in February, ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said. Two of four confirmed victims decided to press charges.
“Two opted to drop, and two opted to continue with them,” Ellison said, noting that he didn’t advise the victims either way. “The suspects didn’t think of them when they decided to steal the stuff, so they were inclined to let them go through the system.”
The students stashed the DVDs in a duffel bag, which was later discovered by Little League officials in Will Hair Park, Ellison said. While examining the contents, the officials reported that the students drove up looking for the bag in a pickup truck.
The Little League representatives then reported the bag and the truck’s license plate number to the Abilene Police Department. APD didn’t have any open cases matching the bag’s contents, and officers checked with ACUPD.
“What led to this case being solved was several factors that all fell into place at the right time,” Ellison said. “The fact that they thought to check with us is just an example of the fact that we’re working with an increased level off cooperation.”
The suspects confessed March 1 to four of five burglaries that took place in Mabee Hall in late February, Ellison said. One student since left the university and turned himself in last week, while the other was taken into custody on campus.
Ellison did not release the names of the victims or the suspects, saying he was awaiting word on university policy for releasing names that don’t qualify under open-record. The Taylor County district attorney’s office, which is processing the suspects, said it does not comment on cases until a charged suspect has been indicted by a grand jury.
Ellison said the students would steal items from unlocked rooms on their hall, adding that entering another student’s room turns what would be simple theft into burglary.
“By law, that room is the same as a hotel room or an apartment, and that jumped it up to burglary,” he said.