Thieves take advantage of spring break

Andrew Gaug

Some students came back from spring break last week with a tan or fond memories of Biloxi or partying in the South.

Others came back to find their residences broken into.

According to police reports, some apartments and houses on Franklin Avenue, South Lincoln Street, Ivan Drive and Aspen Court were broken into and burglarized.

One eyewitness, Charles Lorenz, identified the criminals as four men driving a gold Saturn car.

Lorenz said he and his fianc‚e were leaving their apartment in Holly Park when he noticed a group of men entering his apartment building. He said he thought nothing of it until he saw one of the doors cracked open – something people don’t normally do.

At that point, he told his fianc‚e to go out and start the car while he got his cell phone to call the police. When he joined his fianc‚e in his car, he saw the men walk out carrying objects.

Lorenz said he followed them before they eventually took off.

“They looked like they were teenagers, no older than 18,” Lorenz said. “They weren’t wearing gloves, and when we were following them, they didn’t seem scared. It looked like, to them, it was more like a game.”

Lorenz spoke with police and gave them the license plate number. The police confirmed it matched a stolen gold Saturn for which they were looking.

Robert Keener, 50, came back from vacationing in Florida to find his house on Ivan Drive’s front door kicked in.

“We live in such a quiet neighborhood, you’d never think something like this would happen,” Keener said.

He said though he had two expensive sets of golf clubs near the door as well as a computer about 20 feet from the entrance, nothing was stolen.

Keener suspected a faulty oven timer might have scared the burglars, but said had his dog had been there, they would’ve been running.

Junior justice studies major Pat Iafelice wasn’t so lucky, as his residence at Dartmouth Place Apartments on South Lincoln Street was broken into and some of his possessions were stolen.

Iafelice said he had left his apartment to see his sister’s play when the crime occurred.

“That’s the bitch of it – my neighbor was gone for the entirety of spring break. I was gone for less than 24 hours,” he said.

He said other people saw the men going door-to-door kicking them in during the day.

The burglars who went into Iafelice’s apartment stole his Gateway laptop valued at $1500, his Playstation 2 valued at $250, a PS2 controller and the video game Fight Night Round 2.

Iafelice said the burglars also trashed his apartment. But, he said things could’ve turned out much worse.

“I thank God these kids were so stupid,” he said, “I have a lot of nice stuff in my apartment. I mean, if you’re going to rob someone, take stuff that’s at least expensive.”

Though the investigation is ongoing, police did recover the Gold Saturn as well as Iafelice’s laptop.

“They stole the computer but left the power cord. Instead they stole the cord that connected to the DVD player,” he said. “Apparently, the battery died on him so he couldn’t prove it worked so he couldn’t sell it.”

Along with Iafelice’s possessions, other things stolen from other apartments and houses include a 37 inch LCD TV valued at $1709, another Playstation 2, three football jerseys each valued at $110 and an iPod Nano. Damage was also found at the First Spiritualist Church and on Franklin Avenue.

Lt. James Cole of the Kent Police Department said although this string of robberies and damage is higher than expected, it’s not out of the ordinary.

“We expect a bump in burglaries, but it’s not uncommon for this to happen,” Cole said.

Contact public affairs reporter Andrew Gaug at [email protected].