Unfastened UH locks won’t repel intruders
A suspect has told police he got into dorm buildings through unlocked fire doors.
A man charged in several break-ins at University of Hawaii-Manoa dormitories has told police that he got into buildings and rooms through unlocked doors.
If that is the case, security policies on campus need to be tightened and staff who do not rigidly follow procedures should be disciplined. At the same time, students should lock the doors to their rooms. Even though that might interfere with the casual coming and going that is part of dorm life, safety should be foremost, especially in light of recent events.
In court documents, Mark Heath, who has been charged with burglary, sex assault and theft, admitted to police that he got into three different residential buildings through fire escape doors that were left unlocked. UH officials say that though the dorms are staffed 24 hours a day, outside doors were improperly checked and one was left unlocked.
Doors to rooms also were left unlocked by students. The suspect apparently entered rooms while the occupants were asleep, taking handbags containing money and allegedly assaulting a female student while attempting to cut off her underwear.
These incidents should be enough to put students and UH officials on guard. The campus atmosphere sometimes belies the fact that criminal activity can occur anywhere and that the UH has seen its share of lawlessness in recent years.
While the university should be beefing up security, students bear the responsibility to do what they can to keep safe. Locking their doors is a simple measure.
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