Multiple thefts of property have occurred at the Loretto-Hilton building on the campus of Webster University. Seven separate incidents have been reported to Webster Campus Safety in the past six weeks.
The thefts involved purses and student bags and in some cases, items were removed from unsecured belongings. Some items, such as wallets, were removed from opened purses inside the Loretto-Hilton Center.
The most recent theft occurred April 4. Campus safety issued an advisory April 5 through the campus alerts system.
“We’ve also taken it to social media to alert the users of that area that there has been some issues,” Campus Safety Director Rick Gerger said.
Gerger also said campus safety personnel immediately met with Loretto-Hilton staff last week to make recommendations about how to better increase awareness of personal safety at the facility and that patrols by his department have increased around the Loretto Center.
Campus crime logs indicate that five of the seven incidents were reported to the Webster Groves Police Department (WGPD). Gerger said only specific incidents are referred to the WGPD.
“If there’s a violation of Missouri crime (statutes), it gets forwarded to the Webster Groves Police Department,” Gerger said.
WGPD spokesperson Andy Miller confirmed his department had taken Investigative Reports for incidents at the Loretto Center March 8 and March 29. Two other incidents – March 15 and April 2 – were confirmed to have been referred to WGPD by Gerger.
Miller said that a report on the April 2 theft had yet to be filed. He was unable to provide any details on the March incidents beside confirmation that the incidents occurred and the investigation is ongoing.
Miller also said that his goal in providing the public information in active cases is to not jeopardize any portion of the investigation by releasing any information which could tip-off a suspect.
Miller was able to verify that March 30 his department did generate a report on the March 29 incident because it is still listed as an active investigation. Miller said no suspects have been identified in the case.
“On the 29th, we had a theft from the Repertory Theater. That one is still showing in the computer as an active investigation. So all I can do is verify that we did take a report of some stolen purses,” Miller said.
Miller searched his departmental records and could not verify that a report in the April 2 incident had been generated and an investigation was underway.
“The Webster University security, in our eyes, act as a witness. So if we’re involving them in any type of report it’s as a witness,” Miller said.
Miller also said that WGPD will assist Webster campus safety on issues that would require an increase in patrols on campus, but emphasized that his department would do the same for any other resident of Webster Groves.