Bainer Hall sees series of burglaries throughout September, October

Bainer Hall sees series of burglaries throughout September, October

Photo Credits: QUINN SPOONER / AGGIE Bainer Hall sees over a dozen break-ins over past month. October 22, 2019.

Occupants of Bainer Hall urged to remain vigilant, help prevent unauthorized entry to building

A string of over a dozen burglaries, which began on Sept. 9 and have continued since, have occurred in Bainer Hall over the last month, according to the UC Davis Dateline

The burglaries have occurred on weekends, and have affected labs and offices in the engineering building. The UC Davis Formula Racing team’s lab was one of the rooms affected by a recent break in, for example.

Numerous types of objects have been taken, including computer monitors, cameras, tools and paint supplies, according to Dateline.

The UC Davis Police Department believes that the perpetrators may be gaining entry to the building through unlocked doors. They also suspect someone might be letting them into the building. Though there were “no signs of forced entry” to the building, “the culprit or culprits forced open doors to labs and offices during weekends,” according to Dateline.

“Our university is not unique in experiencing a rise in opportunistic crimes, such as people stealing valuables left in plain sight or from offices and buildings left unsecured,” said UC Davis Police Chief Joe Farrow in a statement

This past February, an intruder who was living in the UC Davis Art Building was arrested on charges of felony vandalism. He had been occupying a professor’s office in the building for several weeks and allegedly sexually assaulted a student.

In the wake of these most recent incidents in Bainer Hall, the university and police department are warning students and others who access the building to take precautions to prevent unauthorized entry.

“If you see any doors propped open, please immediately close them and do not allow people to ‘tail gate’ or follow you into the building during off-hours,” said Cristina Davis, chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) department, in an email sent to the MAE undergraduate listserv and obtained by The California Aggie.

Davis underscored the severity of the break-ins in another email to various engineering listservs and obtained by The Aggie, which also detailed other affected areas: the foyer to a set of additional labs and Professor Valeria LaSaponara’s lab, which Davis said had been subject to an obvious forced entry. 

“It is clear this is beyond a department issue,” Davis said. “As I mentioned last Monday, we had already escalated this to the College of Engineering and campus. I will be asking their help to implement urgent security measures to keep our department, faculty, staff and students safe.”

Farrow, in his statement, wrote about measures the campus is in the process of broadly implementing in order to improve security. These include improving campus lighting, installing security cameras and adding additional emergency call boxes.

“Also, we are moving forward with a new-generation building access system that when completed will greatly enhance the safety of our campus community,” Farrow said. “Even with our efforts, it is always important to watch out for one another, and notify campus authorities when you see things that seem out of place, unusual, dangerous or otherwise suspicious — always trust your instincts.”

Written by: Kenton Goldsby and Andrea Esquetini — campus@theaggie.org