Police investigate athletics break-ins

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Author: Kevin Liu

As the final buzzer rang at Redlands Jan. 2, the Occidental women’s basketball team came off the court with a victory — only to head back to their locker room to find that many of their belongings had been stolen.

Phones, laptop computers and other personal belongings were all taken from the team’s supposedly secure space. Redlands took responsibility for the theft by reimbursing the team for the value of their belongings.

The women’s basketball team experienced yet another break-in — this time at Occidental — Jan. 12.

“That is our secure locker room, or so we thought,” guard Triana Anderson (sophomore) said. “A bunch of my teammates just had their belongings replaced, only to have them stolen again.”

Campus Safety launched an investigation, collecting information from team members and reviewing security camera footage. The department recently turned over their investigation to the Northeast Division of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

“[LAPD is] handling it, yes, in the sense that they are now responsible for the criminal side of it,” Campus Safety Chief Victor Clay said. “I don’t know exactly where they are in that process.”

Both Clay and Anderson offered theories to explain how the events of the break-in may have transpired, but what exactly happened on that evening remains a mystery.

“There’s a lock on that door, but, with that lock, we’ve had problems with that door before,” Anderson said. “Every once in awhile, when it closes, it doesn’t actually lock. You can just turn the handle and just open the door again.”

Clay has slightly a different theory, though one that also cites the door to the locker room as an issue. He said that the door is sometimes left ajar, potentially creating an opportunity for the theft.

Adjustments within Athletics were made in an effort to reduce the chance of burglary occurring again. Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman has taken various measures to effectively address this issue. For example, it is now required to show college-issued identification upon entrance of athletics facilities, and guests must purchase day passes.

“We are working with faculties to better secure our spaces with functioning doors and locks,” Hoffman said via email. “And, we are working on minimizing access points to athletic facilities to best monitor who exactly is entering and exiting.”

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