Attempted break-ins and one successful break-in at Spencer dorm over break


There was a successful break-in at Spencer Residence Hall over Winter break. Residents have received no further information outside the general Alert Carolina email.

According to an Alert Carolina on Jan. 4, housekeepers saw tool pry marks on door jams which caused them to suspect potential break-ins. The incident is believed to have happened sometime between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3.

“We cannot tell if anything is missing because the housekeeper was the one who reported it and not the room occupant,” Connie Bullock, a UNC campus police captain, said.

Bullock said the rooms were secured on Dec. 18 and the police do not currently have any suspects.

He said he was not able to divulge the actual rooms that were broken into.

“We just don’t have any sort of information, but it could have been a student who tried to stay behind or somebody from the community,” he said.

Several students living in Spencer Residence Hall said they were not given any additional information about the incident besides the Alert Carolina email. Housing officials said directly affected students were sent an individual email.

Heyward Lathrop, a sophomore, said she said she was frustrated with the lack of specific communication to Spencer residents and was angry about not receiving a separate message. She said she first heard about the break-in through Alert Carolina.

“I wish that we had been more informed because right now I have no idea if it is my room that was broken into or attempted to be broken into,” she said. “It is kind of frustrating.”

She said she was not worried about crime over break because her room locks automatically and she had taken her valuables home, as instructed by resident advisers.

Lathrop said Spencer is an older dorm and some locks are automatic, but some rooms must be locked manually. She said she was not sure how the perpetrators entered the dorm because the fobs used to access the residence hall do not work over winter break.

“People are surprised, because there are so many dorms on campus that it could have happened to and also just surprised that we haven’t heard anything else from Spencer or from the Kenan community,” Lathrop said.

Shannon Foster, a sophomore living in Spencer, said she first heard about the attempted break-ins through a group message and then read the Alert Carolina, but never got any other communication about it.

“They didn’t tell us any specifics of what room, or even what floor, and so we all just kind of assumed it wasn’t our rooms, just based on the fact that they didn’t contact us directly, but they never actually divulged which rooms were broken into.”

She said she wished there was more specific communication and reassurance from the University.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story misstated the extent of communication from the University to residents of Spencer Residence Hall. Housing officials say emails were sent to the affected rooms, but not to students in Spencer whose rooms were not affected. The article has been updated to reflect that change.

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