UNC Police are investigating a breaking-and-entering that occurred early Saturday morning at Jackson Hall, which houses the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, just hours before the highly anticipated UNC-Duke basketball game.
According to a UNC Police report, the suspect stole $175 worth of property from the office, including a UNC garden gnome, a Roy Williams bobblehead and a framed photo.
Kendall Walker, a member of the wardrobe crew for the production of PlayMakers Repertory Company's "Everybody," said the suspect was allegedly seen in the building on surveillance footage wearing a skeleton costume, one of three of the costumes stolen from "Everybody."
Walker, a senior dramatic art and communications double major, worked on the production as a part of a class required for the dramatic art majors.
“Friday night, all six of the skeleton costumes were checked in by another crew member,” Walker said. “It was his job every night to make sure they all got back. When we came back on Saturday, we noticed that three of them were missing. We couldn’t find them, so they had to have been either moved or taken.”
She said nothing else had been taken or disturbed from the backstage area.
“Also, it’s really difficult to find the area that the costumes were in,” Walker said. “So it had to have been someone who knows the space well, because it’s really hard to aimlessly wander through the six different doorways to get to that specific space where the costumes were backstage.”
She said a friend of hers, who works in Jackson Hall with the admissions office, had watched the surveillance footage from the morning of the incident — and witnessed the suspect, in costume, disrupting the space and stealing various items.
“He was apparently messing up the area in a very destructive, but specific way,” she said. “They ignored all of the high value stuff they could have stolen. They took a lot of UNC stuff, but nothing of very high value.”
Some of the costumes were left behind in Jackson Hall and have been retrieved by the police as evidence.
An official statement from UNC Police Chief David Perry said the investigation is ongoing.
“UNC Police is investigating the report received today of a break-in to Jackson Hall on Saturday, Feb. 8,” he said. “The campus community is encouraged to contact UNC Police at (919) 962-8100 if they have seen suspicious activity in this area over the weekend or have information which might aid in the investigation.”
PlayMakers and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions declined to provide additional details on the subject.
“We don’t know the details of the ongoing investigation,” Marketing Director Diana Pineda said. “UNC Police will let us know if there’s any need for concern about safety.”
While the company does not currently believe the situation poses a threat, Walker said the event is still eerie, and poses a lot of unanswered questions.
"They could have stolen so much more but, for some strange reason, decided not to,” she said. “It was all around a really strange occurrence.”
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