Cerritos College is hit by a burglary incident once again in less than a month.
The Talon Marks Journalism Lab located in FA 42 of the Fine Arts Building becomes a crime scene after burglars broke in and stole two Mac computers.
According to Cerritos College Police Chief Richard Bukowiecki, on a custodial staff member who was making his rounds unintentionally interrupted the burglary in progress on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The custodian saw a suspect hiding in bushes located outside the Fine Arts Building.
The suspect fled the scene after being spotted by the custodian. Two more suspects were spotted running out of the room at the same time.
Police responded to the Fine Arts Building after being alerted of the incident by the custodian at 4:40 a.m.
Responding officers patrolled the area surrounding the school in an effort try to locate and apprehend the perpetrators that fled the scene. The responding officers were unsuccessful in capturing the burglars.
Upon entering the room, they discovered that two computers were missing and others were in a mistreated state.
Officers began to take photographs and process evidence at the scene.
One of the two computers stolen was recovered in a brush area located near FA 42.
According to Bukowiecki, campus police are currently holding the computer as evidence. Police will return the computer once the fingerprinting process is complete.
Bukowiecki also stated that the glass window was broken accidentally around 6 p.m. by dance students in the hallway outside Room FA 42 of the Fine Arts Building on Monday, Oct. 22.
Once the custodial staff was alerted, they responded to the scene and cleaned up the broken glass and boarded up the window with plywood.
Bukowiecki said that the burglars gained entry to the Fine Arts Building by removing the plywood that was used to temporarily cover a broken window.
He also suspects that four individuals were involved in the burglary.
“One computer is still missing and since all three of the suspects that fled the scene weren’t carrying a computer. It would appear that there was at least four suspects,” Bukowiecki said.
Vice President of Academic Affairs JoAnna Schilling is very concerned due to the recent burglaries.
“It is our intention of course to replace the computers, but it’s obviously a larger concern that we make sure that if we replace the computers, they don’t get stolen again,” Schilling said.
According to Schilling, campus police along with information technology staff are working on a plan to help prevent these incidents from happening again.
Talon Marks Editor-in-Chief Patrick Dolly finds the incident upsetting as well as concerning.
“It feels like someone broke into your home,” Dolly said regarding room FA 42.
Dolly said that we need better security around campus.
“When you look at the previous vandalism and burglaries, newer Macs were particularly targeted. We just got brand new computers and for those to have also been targeted, it (is) certainly something that holds weight,” Dolly said.
It is currently unknown if this burglary incident is related to the Math Success Center burglary incident that took place during the last weekend of September.
If you have any information involving the burglary, contact the Cerritos College Campus Police Department at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2325.