By Colleen Neely
Several University of Maryland dorms experienced burglaries within the first three weeks of the spring semester. UMD Alerts were sent out about incidents occurring in Elkton, Anne Arundel and Hagerstown Halls.
In all incidents, female students reported to the University of Maryland Police Department that a male entered their rooms without their consent.
The January 27 burglary in Elkton Hall was also reported as a fourth degree sex offense (unlawful touching). The female student in this case said that the male who entered her room also tried to get into bed with her and left after she yelled at him. On January 28, a male UMD student told a detective that he mistakenly entered the woman’s room while trying to find his way back to a friend’s room. He was “staying with friends due to being intoxicated,” according to an updated press release. The press release said the case was referred to the Office of Student Conduct and the UMPD case is closed.
On February 1, a man entered another woman’s dorm room in Anne Arundel Hall around 6:45 a.m. The woman told the man to leave, but he refused and she eventually pushed him out. There have been no updates on this case.
The third incident occurred in Hagerstown Hall on February 13. A male suspect, Josue Daniel Sigaran, 23, of Rockville, Maryland, was arrested after entering multiple women’s rooms. One resident filmed a portion of their interaction with Sigaran and showed UMPD. Sigaran has no affiliation with UMD. Security footage is being reviewed to conclude how he was able to enter the building.
To gain access to a residence hall, a student must swipe their university ID outside of the building. IDs are also used to go into stairwells and to operate the elevators.
Nistha Mitra, the RA who was on duty in Hagerstown at the time was the student who filmed Sigaran when he entered her room. Everything happened quickly, she said.
“One would expect safety. That was unfortunate,” Mitra said.
She said students should not let people walk into their building or the elevator behind them – a practice known as “tailgating. “Safety first.”
In light of these incidents, the UMPD is encouraging students to lock their doors, be alert and trust their instincts. Resident Life has also posted reminders on the doors of rooms in residence halls.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Colleen Neely/Bloc Reporter.
Colleen Neely is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.