Campus Police is unsure whether the trailer that was reported stolen from Lot 5 sometime between Jan. 19-21 was actually stolen or misplaced. The 20-foot long construction trailer was reported stolen by a representative from Penn Lyon Homes, Inc., the company that built the ill-fated Metzger Apartments.
Lieutenant Don Rizzo of Campus Police said that Detective Sergeant Jim Lopez is handling the case and no leads are apparent at this time. Rizzo also said that he does not know what the trailer contained.
He added that this is the only time that anything has been reported stolen from a construction site on campus.
Penn Lyon was ordered to remove all of their equipment and cease work while the apartment site is closed due to litigation, according to Rizzo.
When asked how a trailer being stolen could go unnoticed by the construction workers or anyone else on campus, Rizzo said that it could have taken place after the workers went home for the day at 6 p.m. and anyone who may have witnessed it may not have realized that a crime was occurring.
Brian Murray, director of Campus Planning and Construction, confirmed that the trailer is still considered stolen, as no one from Penn Lyon has come forward to say that it has been found.
However, both Murray and Rizzo expressed the opinion that a misunderstanding could have taken place within Penn Lyon and the trailer could have been misplaced rather than stolen. Rizzo said that occasionally it happens that someone from a construction company’s officemay instruct someone to move a piece of equipment from one site to another without informing the first site’s foreman.
Murray also believes that the scenario mentioned by Rizzo was possible. “(Maybe) the left hand didn’t tell the right hand what it’s doing,” Murray said. Penn Lyon could not be reached for comment.
“I hope that it was just a misunderstanding,” Tara Roche, senior English major, said. “I know there were cars stolen from campus recently, so it seems like the parking lots just aren’t secure.”
Rizzo said that the report of the trailer theft was entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). NCIC, a nationwide network with its headquarters in West Virginia, stores all pertinent information on major crimes, such as lost articles, weapons offenses and missing people, according to Rizzo.
Every police station in the country is connected to the database where they can broadcast alerts to law enforcement and other officials for information in any specified region. The details of an offense are stored in the NCIC database until the crime is solved.
This is not the first time that Campus Police has entered reports from campus into the NCIC. Rizzo said that a few years ago, a female student of the college went on Spring Break to Mexico with her boyfriend without telling her parents.
The student’s mother reported her missing to Campus Police, who then broadcast an alert with her information on the NCIC.
When the student arrived back in the country from Mexico, she was stopped by customs officials when they entered her name in their computer and the alert came up.
No charges were filed against the student.