Shortly after 11 a.m. Monday morning, a 58-year-old male suspect dressed as a deliveryman entered Alpha Rho Chi fraternity through an unlocked window and stole a fraternity member’s laptop while she was in the shower.
Department of Public Safety Capt. David Carlisle said a member of the co-ed fraternity called DPS as soon as she noticed her computer was missing, which allowed DPS officers to come to the scene quickly.
“One of our officers responded and happened to get there as the burglar was coming out the front door,” Carlisle said.
When the officer tried to detain the suspect, he ran a short distance before mounting a bicycle. After setting up a perimeter around the neighborhood officers from both DPS and the Los Angeles Police Department surrounded and caught the suspect near the AAA Automobile Club on Figueroa.
After being identified by the victim, the suspect was arrested and booked at LAPD. The suspect, who had previously been arrested for other burglaries, had broken his parole, Carlisle said.
“We are very glad he is caught,” Carlisle said. “He is a parolee at large, so he was wanted.”
Carlisle said this burglary might have been difficult to prevent, particularly in such a large residence.
“Usually, most burglaries won’t go in a residence if they think someone is home,” he said. “They will usually use some ruse to find out if someone is home before breaking in.”
Alpha Rho Chi President Augustine Liu said he was surprised by the nature of the crime.
“It was a pretty absurd incident,” he said. “I know there have been people in the past who have walked up to the fraternity saying they are from sister or brother fraternities, and we usually turn them away, so this was a little bit of an anomaly.”
Carlisle advised students to lock windows and doors, especially those on lower levels, and said calling DPS at the first sight of a problem is the best way to assist in preventing crime.
“The resident did the right thing by calling DPS as soon as she noticed something was wrong,” Carlisle said.