Columbia police issue burglary warning for students

Spike in thefts, burglaries reported in student housing in southern Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia police have issued a warning for college students who live on the southside: Lock up, write down serial numbers on electronics and stay alert because burglaries are happening more frequently.

Brookside Townhomes resident and University of Missouri student Channing Bauer had his iPhone stolen early Monday morning, when a burglar entered his room. A roommate had his wallet taken that morning as well.

"[The suspect] had to come through my room, take my phone with my head being right next to it, grab it and then walk out," Bauer told ABC 17 News Tuesday.

A Boone County deputy interviewed both Bauer and his roommate at their townhome Tuesday afternoon, but they were not the only victims of the crime.

Bauer said his neighbors had been burglarized in recent weeks, too. One major problem - victims' back doors had been unlocked or easily opened while locked.

"[The suspect] just went door-to-door, whichever one was unlocked, he walked in," explained Bauer. "One kid was napping, like he's not even completely asleep, so it's just like anything could probably wake him. But [the suspect] walks out with his laptop."

Columbia police did not respond to a request Tuesday for specifics about the number of burglaries or the locations, but dispatch data from the past week indicated several clustered at both Brookside Townhomes and the new Aspen Heights complex.

Bauer and his neighbors told ABC 17 News they wanted to see more patrol from police or complex security.

Columbia police did not provide any suspect information Tuesday night.

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