The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday August 14th

Granville Officials: Building Security Suitable

But freshman Ben Coleman, who confronted the alleged thief after freshman Chris Glover's laptop was stolen, said he is worried Granville's security measures are not always carried out effectively.

Coleman said he and Glover had just returned from an event, after which Glover unlocked his door and went briefly to a nearby room. He said Glover spotted an unfamiliar man leaving his room and noticed his laptop missing.

The two students then followed the man through the Granville parking lot, where Coleman said they briefly spoke with the suspect and realized the laptop was concealed in his pants. They then followed him to Time Out Restaurant, where police arrived and arrested the suspect, Devon Withers, 25, of 3311 Shannon Road, reports state.

Another laptop was also reported stolen at Granville Towers East on Tuesday, although police did not say whether the two incidents were connected. Granville Towers General Manager Dennis Erny said a private firm, Guardsmark Incorporated, provides full security for the Granville parking lot area.

As far as security inside the building, Erny said Granville offers built-in security devices like self-closing door hinges and digital video cameras. Other security measures include staff and resident assistants who are on duty at all times, he said. Granville's front doors are locked 24 hours a day, requiring residents to swipe identification cards to enter the building.

Erny said that for the most part, Granville Towers offers more security measures than campus residence halls or off-campus apartment complexes.

"How many residence halls do you know with video cameras?" he said.

But Tuesday's incident has led some students to question whether the security measures are enough. Coleman said he thought the age of the 25-year-old suspect should have triggered some suspicion.

But Erny said age would not have been a immediate cause for concern. Granville houses older students and residents often bring older brothers, parents or guests into the building, he said.

He said management cannot force residents to properly utilize in-room safety measures. "I hate to say that this is student error because students (should) feel safe enough that they can leave their doors open," he said. "But that's not the measure we tell them to take. We tell them to always lock their door."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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