Students aid in catching recurring Markin locker burglar

A 19-year-old man who burglarized about five lockers at the Markin Center throughout January was caught Tuesday night.

The man, Colby Shelton, lives with Bradley students, but is not a student himself. He was reportedly using student ID’s to enter the building.

“The man was caught because of very observant students who noticed someone acting suspiciously,” said Bradley University Police Chief Brian Joschko. “The students are Markin employees who were working that night, and if it wasn’t for their diligence, we wouldn’t have caught him as quickly.”

Those students were unable to comment at this time.

Joschko said officers had been tracking the burglaries.

“We had been watching videos of people entering and leaving the Markin Center, and we were keeping track of card swipes,” Joshcko said. “Then we noticed someone walking into the men’s locker room, walking out 10 minutes later and leaving, which was strange. When the students called us, we knew who to look for.”

Shelton had been breaking into locked lockers with a screwdriver, leaving minor damages to lockers. He confessed to five burglaries, all occurring between Jan. 8 and Jan. 27. Stolen items included about $400 in cash and a laptop.

Senior accounting major Clay Larson, the owner of the stolen laptop, said he had locked up his belongings and went elsewhere in the gym for about an hour and a half.

“It was just a regular night, there were people around,” he said. “I was a little upset that my laptop was gone, but the police did a pretty good job. I had it back by Tuesday night.” Executive Director for Student Involvement Mike Keup said the damage to the lockers was not significant.

“There’s some scratches that we’re disappointed about, but we aren’t aware of any that we’ll have to replace,” he said.

The investigation is ongoing, but Shelton has been charged with five counts of burglary, four counts of criminal trespassing, criminal damage to property and resisting arrest.