Winona State sees surge in on-campus crime

Erich Schweitzer, news reporter

Over the past couple of weeks, Winona State University has witnessed a sudden surge in crime on its campus. So far there have been four burglaries and three unlawful entries, and while Winona State’s security staff still are not sure of who the perpetrators of these crimes are, they are advising everyone to keep their doors locked.
When asked about the identities of the perpetrators, Christopher Cichosz, who has been the director of security at Winona State for the past six years, said, “We believe it’s visitors; they were not students or staff of the university.” He also went on to say he believes the incidents may be related.
Of the incidents that have occurred, it’s reported that four of them happened in the same area on campus.
“We haven’t had that before,” Cichosz said of the frequency of the crimes in the same location. In all cases, the incidents occurred due to doors being left unlocked.
The main takeaway for students and staff is to make sure that their doors are locked.
“Let’s take the time to lock our stuff up; secure our work areas and living areas,” Cichosz said when asked for advice for students. “Let’s just look out for each other.”
However, some students are still concerned about this sudden surge in crime.
Alec Scott, a student at Winona State, commented on this, saying, “I’ve lived here the past five years and I’ve never seen these many emails from security.”
This was in regard to the timely notices that security has been sending out after each incident, keeping students informed about each situation.
The first incident this year was a burglary that occurred in Memorial Hall between Sept. 18 and 19. All that was stolen was a few articles of clothing, but the suspect was not identified.
The second incident was an unlawful entry to one of the rooms in the residence halls on campus. It happened on Sept. 22, but security did not receive the report until the 28. The suspect of this crime was an unidentified male who fled once the resident awoke. Nothing was stolen, but Winona State security is cooperating with the Winona Police Department to get the occurrence figured out.
The latest incident was on Oct. 10, a report of a burglary in a residence hall. The bedroom that was burglarized was unoccupied at the time of the incident, but it is believed that the room was left unlocked.