A recent series of burglaries in Homewood reached a Samford-owned house last week.
“The Homewood Police Department has informed us that several burglaries have occurred over the last month near the north side of campus, including Windsor Drive,” an email to the campus from Executive Director of University Marketing and Communication Katie Stripling said. “The homes were all unoccupied at the time of the burglaries, but items were stolen from the homes.”
In this situation, the house is owned by Samford and houses staff members. Laptops and other items were taken from the residence.
“It appears to be an on-going event,” Samford Chief of Police Wayne Pittman said.
According to Pittman, Homewood Police have been investigating several burglaries in that same neighborhood. This was the first case in the series where a Samford property was affected.
The university was informed of the crime as part of the Clery Act timely warning protocol. The Clery Act, which was established in 1990, is a federal statute that requires schools to report certain crimes and disclose crime statistics.
According to Pittman, the Clery Act geography reaches a radius of about one mile from campus. In the case that an event is serious and could have an effect on Samford, public safety or the office of university communication will notify the campus.
Samford has witnessed an uptick in burglaries over the past year. In March, a man was arrested for burglarizing vehicles on campus during the day. It was reported that he continually returned to campus and other municipalities across the state and stole from cars until he was eventually caught by public safety.
Last week, the university released the official 2017 security report. A drastic increase in burglaries on campus property is shown in the report. In 2016, there were a total of five reported burglaries on the main campus. Four of those occurring on just campus property, and one occurring in a residence. In 2017, a total of 33 burglaries on campus property were reported to public safety. Data for 2018 was not readily available.