Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer
Three burglaries at the Domain at Waco apartments were reported to the Waco Police Department on Saturday. Waco police responded to the first report at 4:24 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The suspect entered the apartment and was in the living room, Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said. The residents woke up to find the suspect still in their apartment, Swanton said. The suspect left the Domain apartment, located at 2825 S. University Parks Drive, once the residents were aware of his presence, Swanton said.
Waco police determined that at least three burglaries occurred in the early morning on Saturday. In these three cases, the homes were left unlocked and the the suspect was able to enter the homes without the use of force. No one was injured during these burglaries, and only minor property was stolen, Swanton said.
Swanton said the Waco Police Department believes the suspect entered the apartments because of easy access and not because the apartments are inhabited by female residents, despite speculation from the public. One of the apartments that the suspect entered on Saturday morning was inhabited by male residents, Swanton said. Victims of the burglaries identified the suspect as male, but no description of the man is currently available, Swanton said.
“If you see something, say something,” Swanton said. “We can’t help you if you don’t notify us… So many times we will see something happen, and there were witnesses that tell us ‘I knew something wasn’t right’ or ‘I knew he didn’t belong here’ or ‘I knew he didn’t live in that apartment that I saw him go in, I just didn’t want to bother anybody.’ It’s not a bother. We want you to call us.”
Swanton said other apartments in the complexwere not entered simply because the doors were locked. He encourages all residents, at the Domain and elsewhere, to keep doors and windows locked and blinds closed to prevent burglaries like those that occurred on Saturday.
Cypress sophomore and Domain resident Colin Jerding said he was a victim of a similar incident, at about 3 a.m. on Friday morning. Jerding and his roommates were in their rooms, in their apartment.
“My door opened, and I [saw] a phone light shine in. I couldn’t see the face because of the phone light,” Jerding said.
Jerding said that he said ‘hello,’ but the suspect did not respond, closed the door and left the apartment. Jerding asked his roommates the next morning, and none of them had been the person holding the light.
Jerding and his roommates did not have the door to their apartment or the doors to their individual rooms locked. He was informed about similar incidents at the Domain a few days later. Nothing was taken from their apartment, so they did not contact police after Friday’s incident. Since that night, Jerding said he and his roommates have started locking their doors.
“The Domain at Waco finds the safety of our residents to be the utmost of our concern,” said Drew Christian, property manager at the Domain, in a statement to the Lariat. “We strive to provide a gated-community in which our residents are proud to call home. We are very upset about the preventable incidents that have occurred. While we have increased our licensed security’s presence on our property, we remind residents and others alike, that keeping your doors locked will aid in [deterring] incidents like these from occurring.”
Christian also encourages residents at the Domain to attend the safety social on Monday. Baylor Police Department and Waco Police Department will participate in the event.
“Crime can happen anywhere, at any time, to anybody, so we always encourage our citizens to take necessary precautions and help safeguard themselves,” Swanton said.
Swanton said the incidents on Saturday were crimes of opportunity, and the best way to prevent them is to keep your doors locked.