An Ohio State student has been charged with one count of burglary and is a suspect in several others after a series of thefts and burglaries in Morrill Tower.
Brandon Monroe, 21, was arrested Feb. 3 by University Police and incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail for a burglary that occurred on Jan. 29. In that case, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, an Xbox 360 and a video game were stolen from a Morrill Tower dorm room, according to a press release from OSU Police.
Since September 2009, there have been 22 reported cases of burglary or theft, said Deputy Chief of Police Richard Mormon. The total value of stolen property is more than $10,000.
“The liaison officer assigned to Morrill began noticing a trend,” Mormon said. He said they began piecing clues together and eventually identified Monroe as a suspect in the crimes.
“There was enough probable cause to charge him with the one burglary,” he said.
Monroe was detained but has since posted bail.
Officers searched Monroe’s residence on Jasonway Avenue on the city’s North Side and recovered more than $2,000 worth of property from six of the Morrill Tower burglaries.
“We know he was selling some of the property on Craigslist,” Mormon said. He also said they believe Monroe sold stolen books to campus-area bookstores.
“There is still property we want to recover,” Mormon said.
Mormon said the police are uncertain how Monroe gained access to the dorm rooms. He said it is likely Monroe followed residents in through the main lobby.
“He actually lived in Morrill last year, so he knows his way around,” Mormon said.
Once inside the building, Monroe could have easily gained access to common areas left unlocked by residents, Mormon said.
Mormon said he urges students to keep their dorm rooms locked and valuable property secured. He also said to refrain from letting unknown people into residence halls.
As far as the police know, Monroe was working alone. The case is still under investigation.