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

Police investigate third home invasion in a month

The Oshkosh Police Department announced May 6 that they are investigating the third invasion of a woman’s home in the last month after a male suspect entered a residence on the 800 block of John Avenue May 5. No one was injured in all three instances.

“Please remember to lock all windows and doors, make sure video surveillance cameras are in working order and immediately call police to report suspicious situations and suspicious people around the campus area,” OPD said in a news release May 6. “If you live in the area of where this occurred and have video surveillance cameras, we are asking you to review your footage to see if this suspect was recorded on your cameras.”

At approximately 1 a.m. May 5, a female reported to police that she had arrived at her house and found the male suspect standing at the edge of her unoccupied bed in her bedroom. According to OPD, the female screamed at the suspect and left the residence. When she returned a while later, the suspect was no longer there.

The male suspect is described as being approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and was wearing skinny jeans, a black shirt and a ski mask.

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

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.

Maddie Gunderson, who lives at the Wisconsin Street residence, said that she’s scared to think that the suspect could become even more dangerous if they continue to enter women’s bedrooms.

“I still can’t believe this happened to us,” Gunderson said. “I would [tell students] just always expect the unexpected. You never know what could’ve happened and things could have been so much worse. He could have had a gun or hurt us.”

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.

“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 UW Oshkosh Police Department offers a Home Security Survey that can be used to help off-campus students evaluate the security of their homes.

UWOPD said in an email to students that people are encouraged to immediately call the police to report suspicious activity on or near the UWO campus.

“This will allow law enforcement personnel the ability to respond quickly and gather information to assist during the investigation,” UWOPD said in an email. “Residents can greatly increase their safety by ensuring that they routinely lock all windows and doors.”

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.”

Gunderson said that everyone in her house now locks the doors right when they enter and exit the home because they don’t want similar incidents to happen again.

“It really sucks that this is something we are going to be constantly thinking about no matter how much time passes,” Gunderson said. “I have trouble going into my room sometimes because I get so uncomfortable knowing a man went through and touched my clothes and took my underwear from my drawer.”

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.”

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 been changed to protect their identity.

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