UB police plan to arrest suspect in string of dorm burglaries

The suspect is non-violent and has a criminal history of burglarizing

UB police are planning to arrest the suspect tied to a string of on-campus housing burglaries.

They have obtained a warrant from the Erie County District Attorney’s office to detain the suspect for several misdemeanor and felony charges of burglarizing and theft, according to Deputy Chief of Police Josh Sticht. Police are working with the suspect’s family members to get him to surrender himself, but have been unsuccessful to date. The suspect has a court date in the City of Buffalo later this week, where UPD plan to detain him.

If the suspect does not show up for his court date, Sticht said the police have a few options. They will resort to their warrant recovery program or request the U.S. Marshall service for assistance.

Police identified the suspect several weeks ago, but did not have a reliable address and were unable to detain him. The suspect allegedly burglarized a total of seven dorm rooms since July 5, according to university police, during which he has stolen cash, credit cards and car keys, and twice he stole the student’s vehicle.

On Friday evening, the suspect stole a student’s car from a parking lot in the Ellicott Complex. The vehicle has not been recovered.

UPD has warrants for six incidents, including several misdemeanors and felony charges.

The suspect has a criminal history of burglarizing other parts of Buffalo, including Buffalo State College, said Sticht.

“He has it down to a science,” Sticht said. “He exploits the fact that most college students do not want to confront someone and he knows to just walk in behind a student and they won’t feel comfortable saying anything to him.”

The suspect is in his early twenties, a trait he uses to his advantage, Sticht said. He does not look out of place on campus, and will wait outside residence halls until a student lets him enter behind them. The suspect will then wander until he finds an open dorm room.

Police remind students to keep their dorm rooms locked and to call UPD at 645-2222 if a suspicious person enters behind them into a secure building.

“Students don’t have to confront the person, but call us if you’re not sure,” Sticht said. “We’ll come and see, and if it’s a student then it’s no harm, no foul. If it’s not a student, then we can take care of it.”

Sarah Crowley is the senior news editor and can be reached at sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com