Campus crimes prompt heightened security

The security presence has increased around Stevenson University due to recent events and students should be aware of certain security concerns on campus.

Steven Gossage, poses for a photo in the Ratcliffe Community Center. Gossage is the interim director of security. (Villager file photo)

According to Steven Gossage, interim director of security, a break-in involving non-resident individuals and a student-on-student conflict have both occurred in the last few weeks on Stevenson University’s Owings Mills campus and both situations have been generally resolved.

Gossage could not disclose the names of the individuals involved as the investigation is ongoing, but the lessons learned and tips for students can be shared to prevent conflicts in the future.

Gossage explained that the break-in was targeted, adding, “On February 10, at 6 p.m., three individuals came onto the campus, passed many other students, tailgated their way into the building, meaning they followed a student through the door once that student swiped his card to gain access.” Gossage said that the individuals turned right and went to the fourth floor through the side staircase and found an unlocked door to a residence room.

Baltimore County police identified the individuals who removed the items from the room. All three of the individuals are from the Virginia area and this case is still under investigation. Gossage reminds students to be aware of who may be coming in the door behind them because “this is a prime example of what can go wrong.”

The other conflict on campus was a student-on-student case with no outside sources, but the police were also involved. Gossage said that “a group entered the elevator; five were with one party and the other was alone. One of the students in the group made a comment that instilled the fear of being robbed in the individual student, so in response they displayed what appeared to be a weapon.”

Gossage further explained that the party of five exited the elevator on the second floor. No money was exchanged and the individual continued to her room. The police responded to this situation and found that the comments made by the respondent student fell within the purview of a crime.

This is the front entrance of Wooded Way. One of the break-ins on campus occurred here. (Villager file photo)

With the police still investigating one of the cases and the university administration looking into the other, Gossage assures the community that both cases will come to a successful conclusion in the near future. He would like to remind students to always keep their door locked, to be mindful of who is coming into the door behind them when entering the residence halls, and to report any suspicious activity.

He added, “Practice situational awareness. Be aware, whether you’re on campus or off campus, just be aware of what’s going on around you when you’re walking to your car, shopping centers and even your dorm building. Just keep your head on a swivel really.” He said that students do not have to be paranoid, but he also reminded the community that criminals are opportunists, and if they see an opportunity, they will act upon it.

At this time Campus Security has enhanced their presence on campus, with Gossage explaining that he added a third shift that runs from 7 at night until 3 in the morning to concentrate on Wooded Way and the freshman and sophomore residence halls.

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