DPS detains suspect connected with McKay Center burglary

The Dept. of Public Safety apprehended a suspect Wednesday afternoon in connection with last week’s theft of laptops and smartphones from offices in the John McKay Center, a newly constructed $70 million, 110,000-square-foot athletic facility west of Heritage Hall, DPS Captain David Carlisle told the Daily Trojan on Thursday.

Malachi Whalen, a 22-year-old from Long Beach, was spotted in front of Heritage Hall and recognized from surveillance videos at the McKay Center. Carlisle said Whalen, who is not affiliated with USC, has been turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department, which is investigating the motives.

“As far as we know, it was a random burglary,” Carlisle said.

Whalen allegedly stole five laptops, four iPads, two cell phones and a wallet, according to DPS’s incident log. The burglary occurred on Aug. 8 at approximately 4:30 p.m. while the USC football team was practicing at the nearby Howard Jones Field.

Carlisle pointed out DPS has a number of security measures incorporated into the building and it will be more difficult for instances such as this to occur when it becomes fully occupied. The formal dedication is scheduled for Aug. 21

“It’s a very well-protected and well-secured building,” Carlisle said.