News, Off Campus, Featured Story

Students Report Off-Campus Break-In Attempts

A man wearing a fluorescent yellow vest has been repeatedly knocking on doors at Boston College students’ off-campus houses in Brighton and falsely claiming to be a telephone company representative needing to do work in their houses, according to interviews with several BC students.

The man has been seen by neighboring students trying to open the door to enter houses in instances when no one answers.

Multiple students told The Heights that this man has attempted to gain access to at least four houses on Gerald Street. Police reports regarding any incidents from Boston Police Department District 14, which encompasses Brighton and Allston, are not immediately available.

This is not the first time BC residents have been affected by break-ins and robberies—in the first month and a half of 2018 alone, seven break-ins were reported to BCPD. 

The students had only seen the man knocking on doors in broad daylight. The students said they believe this is due to the fact that BC students are often on campus, and it is common that houses are empty throughout the day. 

Abby Schlageter, MCAS ’21, first spoke with the man on Monday afternoon when she opened up the door after aggressive and repeated knocking, she said. Upon opening the door, the man told her he was from Verizon and needed to do work on her house’s cable lines. 

The man’s entrance into her and her roommates’ house triggered a beeping of their alarm, which caused him visible discomfort, she said. He slowly began moving out of the doorway and down the front porch steps. 

At the bottom of the steps, the man pressed Schlageter about when he could come back to do “maintenance,” she said. He repeatedly asked her whether any of her roommates would be home before 8 p.m.

When she responded yes, he left and did not return back to her house at any point throughout the day, Schlageter said. 

Almost immediately after the incident, Schlageter and her roommates began receiving messages from other girls living in off-campus housing who said they had had very similar experiences, though the man had been claiming to work for a different phone company each time, Schlageter said.  

“I don’t think he was coming to try and hurt anyone,” Schlageter said. “I think he was coming to try and steal things, which is why he probably wanted to come in, scope out where things were, and then figure out when we weren’t going to be home.”

As awareness about this man’s presence around off-campus neighborhoods has grown, Schlageter said that she and her neighbors have become increasingly careful in locking their doors.

“Every time I go home now, it’s always locked,” Schlageter said. “Everyone is being a little extra careful.”

Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Staff

January 27, 2020

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