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Quinn Richardson fell asleep with the lights on Thursday night while studying for a sociology exam.
When he awoke at about 5:30 a.m. Friday, he turned the lights off and climbed back into bed. But before he could fall back to sleep, his bedroom door opened and someone looked inside.
Richardson said he immediately called out to the man he saw, but the stranger slammed the door and fled the apartment upon realizing Richardson was awake.
“It just kind of puzzled me,” he said. “There was no way my friends were coming over that early in the morning, and he left the front door wide open.”
Richardson didn’t report the incident. He didn’t think to until others in Mill Creek Condominiums had similar experiences.
Police went to him to get his report. In light of five recent break-ins to student bedrooms, officers said they are doing everything they can to get information — and urge students to report incidents quickly.
All of the break-in incidents involve students who left doors unlocked or with an accessible spare key, and who failed to immediately report intrusions.
“I didn’t think I really had any useful information to tell the police,” Richardson said.
Chapel Hill police spokesman Lt. Kevin Gunter said residents should always report incidents like this as soon as they happen, no matter how trivial they may seem.
“We’re continuing to get reports that are in some cases hours or even days old, so it hampers our ability to investigate the scene,” he said.
Richardson described the intruder as a 5-foot-10 inch black male wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt. Gunter said this description is similar to those of four recent break-ins, but it is too vague to be sure if the cases are related.
“This guy just walked in because we usually don’t keep our door locked,” said Brian Kim, Richardson’s roommate, who was asleep on the couch when the intruder entered their apartment.
Like the other incidents, this intruder took nothing of value.
Kim said he was missing about $4 from his wallet but didn’t think anything else was gone.
Richardson is the only male of the six victims.
Three of the women reported that a man entered their bedroom and touched their leg.
The University sent out a notice to students about the break-ins Wednesday.
“We’re trying to get the information out there and develop as much information as we can,” Gunter said.
“We’re hoping this will help us get tips from the community.”
Gunter said residents should remain at a heightened sense of awareness.
Contact the City Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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