Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

OPD investigates two home invasions in past month

‘I never would have imagined this happening to me’

The Oshkosh Police Department is investigating two incidents of males entering women’s bedrooms in two separate off-campus residences. No one was injured and nothing was taken in both cases.

“We take incidents like these seriously and want to remind citizens to be aware of their surroundings for their personal safety,” an OPD press release said of the incidents. “Based off the differences in the suspect descriptions, it is unknown if these two incidents are related.”

The first incident occurred April 1, when a male suspect entered a home in the 800 block of Vine Avenue. At around 7:28 a.m., police say a female called to report that the suspect was standing in the doorway to her bedroom and fled the scene after she yelled at him. The suspect, who was reported to be wearing a slim fitting black jacket, dark pants and a white mask, was described as being around 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a skinny build.

The second incident occurred April 14, when another female reported to police that a male had entered her house in the 1200 block of Wisconsin Avenue at around 4 a.m. The female told police that she woke up and saw the second male suspect standing over her while she was sleeping in her bed. Similar to the first incident, the female screamed at the suspect, and he fled the scene.

Catherine Clark, one of the women who lives at the residence on Wisconsin Street, said she never once felt unsafe and didn’t think a break-in would ever happen where she lives.

“We used to not lock the doors if someone was home, but now after anyone leaves or enters the house, the door is locked,” Clark said. “It doesn’t matter if someone is home. Our doors will stay locked.”

Clark said she had a friend sleep over at her house when the intruder entered the home.

“My friend heard my roommate scream when the guy was standing over her while she slept and asked me if I heard a scream,” Clark said. “My fan was loud, and I was so deep in sleep that I told her she was dreaming when she heard the scream. I wish I would have reacted, but I really didn’t think much of it. It’s hard to accept that I didn’t react in the situation, but I can’t change the past.”

The suspect in the second incident is described as a white male, between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall with a muscular build and approximately college age with brown chin-length hair. According to the female at the scene, he was wearing a long-sleeved dark colored t-shirt, dark pants and a black ski mask that covered half of his face.

Clark said the police handled the situation as best as they could have.

“They seemed a bit distressed that a similar thing happened twice, but they did everything they could to help,” Clark said “I think it’s important to note that the perpetrator may have done more than break in. He took undergarments from my roommate’s room and threw them all around our kitchen. It was gross and violating. The police suspected some disgusting acts were done with the undergarments too.”

Alissa Weber, a UW Oshkosh student and another woman who lives at the residence on Wisconsin Street, said that the incident has caused her to start double-checking her doors.

“I am more aware of noises and cautious of sounds in the house,” Weber said. “I do get a little spooked when I turn my lights off right before bed and am fearful that it might happen again, but it is slowly getting easier to fall asleep each night.”

Clark said she hopes UWO students will take the incidents seriously.

“The fact that not just our house but another house was broken into is so scary,” Clark said. “It’s so disturbing to think that someone would break into your house and just watch you sleep. Just remember to keep your doors and windows locked when they’re not in use or you’re not home. I don’t want the intruder to do this to anyone else.”

In an interview with Fox 11, OPD Public Affairs/Crime Prevention officer Kate Mann said the suspects gained entry into the homes through an unlocked door and window, and that nothing was stolen from the residences.

“We do want to remind citizens to be aware of their surroundings and remember to secure both windows — especially with the warm weather, secure those windows and secure those doors,” Mann told Fox 11. “We don’t know the intention of the people that were entering into the homes, but we want to error on the side of caution.”

Weber said that she wants students to make sure they lock their doors and windows, especially if they are living off campus.

“Even if you think you are safe, there is always a chance of something happening,” Weber said. “I thought the same thing, I never would have imagined this happening to me and when it does happen, you wish you would’ve been more cautious, and you kick yourself thinking how could I have let this happen and why. I have never been more aware of my surroundings until now and I take safety precautions more seriously.”

The investigations are still ongoing and Oshkosh police urge anyone with information regarding the incidents to contact OPD at 920-236-5700 or the Winnebago County Crime Stoppers at 920-231-8477.

Clark said that she now finds herself scanning the area around her house when she leaves to see if anyone is watching her.

“I might sound a bit paranoid but I don’t want anything like that happening again,” Clark said. “The worst part is that the intruder actually broke in through an unlocked window and not a door. They scaled part of the house to get to that window. They were on a mission to get into our house and it was no joke or harmless prank. You really don’t think those things would happen to you until they do.”

Editor’s note: the names of the residents have b

een changed to protect their identity.

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