University Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at a fraternity house over the weekend.
Residents of Phi Kappa Tau were away from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon at a formal, and at some point over the weekend at least one unknown suspect broke into the house at 1511 Fredonia Ave., taking more than $5,400 in electronics from three residents.
“One of the guys … called me and said ‘Dude I’m sorry, but someone broke into your room,’ ” said Phi Tau resident Tony Bagby. “I was like ‘Wow, that really sucks.’”
He said he made sure his room was secure before leaving for the weekend.
“I know that before I left I locked the bottom part of my window, but when I came back, my window was wide open,” Bagby said. “I could see a muddy foot print from where they came in.”
Bagby had more than $1,600 in electronics taken from his room, including a laptop, a Play Station 3 and an external hard drive.
Another resident had a TV and computer taken after the suspect kicked in the door leading to his room.
“[The suspect] would have had to have seen the house,” Bagby said. “One of the guys had a 40 inch TV, that’s not something you just get lucky with. It could have been anyone who’s seen the inside of the house.”
University Police Chief Dave Baer declined to comment on the specifics of the investigation, but did say it seemed likely the perpetrator has seen the inside of the house.
Baer also said fraternities and sororities should exercise caution when leaving their houses empty.
“They should do like they do during the summer and tell us the house will be empty,” he said. “When we’re told no one would be there the officers can keep an eye on the house.”
Baer said when greek houses alert police their houses will be empty and police officers see movement inside that house, they know something’s up.
“Even if all but two or three guys are leaving, they should tell us,” Baer said. “They could leave those kids’ names and if the officer sees someone walking into the house, we could make sure that person belongs there.”
University Police do have leads and will work on them in the coming days, Baer said. And because the rooms the thief, or thieves, hit had been touched and contaminated, Peoria Police crime scene investigators were not called in.
In another, possibly related, theft, someone entered a room in the Pi Kappa Alpha house at 706 Institute Place and stole a $1,500 laptop.
Most of the members of Pike were also away from campus for a formal.
Baer said that case is also being investigated.
Regardless of whether the person who stole the electronics is caught, Bagby still has to work without a computer at the end of the semester, a traditionally busy time for students.
“I’m on my way to the library to use their computers,” he said.