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Police investigating increase in thefts from dorms on ECSU campus

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - Police on the Elizabeth City State University campus say they're seeing a rise in thefts since the beginning of the new year, amounting to thousands of dollars in stolen property.

The first incidents reported, according to police, involved video game systems taken from a dorm room in the University Tower building on January 8. Most recently, police say $700 in cash was stolen from a wallet at the Student Center on February 9.

Sign for University Tower residence hall at Elizabeth City State University.

Of the dozen incidents reported in that time frame, the biggest loss came from $2,700 in electronics and shoes stolen from a University Tower dorm on January 20, police say.

Students tell News 3 they're frustrated.

"I shouldn’t have to lock my door when I’m gonna take a shower. I shouldn’t have to look over my shoulder and think my stuff is gonna get stolen from someone I don’t know," said Suaeshawn Poe, a freshman who lives in University Tower.

Police say the targeted rooms were not locked. Resident Assistants are working to raise awareness.

“We are on campus. This is where we stay. We feel comfortable so a lot of kids think, ‘Oh I shouldn’t have to lock my door,'" said campus Resident Assistant Jasmine Brumsey. “Our RAs were kept up to speed with what’s going on. We’ve been doing extra training, making sure we talk to our residents that they’re shutting doors. We’re also in the process of walking the halls more.”

Police are also working to step up patrols inside the dorm buildings. The university already has a security system in place requiring students to use their student IDs to get into the building and visitors to sign in.

“The stuff that’s been stolen, I have it too. I think that could’ve been me," said Asante Austin, a sophomore who lives in University Tower.

Police say 18-year-old Paul Culbreath IV of Gastonia, N.C., was arrested in connection with two of the incidents. He's accused of stealing Sony Playstation video game systems. The other incidents are still unaccounted for.

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