Winter break has meant break-ins for UH Manoa campus

Published On: Jan 03 2014 05:56:02 PM HST   Updated On: Jan 03 2014 08:30:02 PM HST

It's winter break for students and faculty at the University of Hawaii, but not for campus police. They've been busy responding to recent break-ins.

During the break the college campus goes from a bustling community to a relative ghost town this time of year, and intruders can see it as a target.

"They've been sending a lot of campus reports about break-ins all over the place, in dorms, as well as buildings," said Andy Morishita with the electrical engineering department.

There were four break-ins practically back to back in December. Two were before the end of finals then two more came right after. The suspected intruder was going into different department offices and campus apartments, usually through a window.

"For the most part it looked like someone was sleeping and eating in the room, so (it was) a place to go," said Capt. Alberta Pukahi with UH Manoa campus police.

On Christmas Eve campus police say a juvenile boy was found around 3:30 in the morning at the UH Press Office and was arrested. Campus police believe he was responsible for the past four break-ins.

"Our officers were patrolling and saw that there was a room that the window was open, and it had not been opened earlier, so they went and checked and found the individual there," said Pukahi.

But, even with an arrest, break-ins continued. Someone stole power tools one night. On Monday, campus police said someone cut through a screen window to get into a dorm and steal jewelry.

"It causes some fear in our folks, naturally. They don't know the intention of the individual," said Pukahi.

"I'm on a floor level too so makes me feel like ... I really need to watch out," said senior student Angela Stein.

Campus security says they are on high alert and are asking people to immediately report all suspicious persons and activities.

School is set to resume on Jan. 13.


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