[follow id = “BenjyEgel”]
Five football players’ arrests in an attempted armed robbery of the Delta Sigma Phi main house Sunday morning sent ripples through the Cal Poly greek community, sparking fear and concern in members of other houses across campus. The most publicized break-in wasn’t the only one to occur over the weekend, though.
A member of the Sigma Kappa sorority woke up Sunday morning to find a hole slashed in her window screen and her laptop and iPad nowhere to be found. The thief must have entered in the middle of the night, taking care not to wake up the three other women sleeping in other rooms, house manager and economics senior Chelsea Chilman said.
“She had money and other valuables lying around, but those weren’t taken,” Chilman said. “I don’t know why he didn’t come into our rooms, but I’m very happy that he didn’t.”
Sigma Kappa also had six laptops stolen during their big-little reveal ceremony in November, despite members only being away from the house for 15 minutes, Chilman said. The sorority was also robbed three years ago, when Chilman was a freshman.
The sorority installed extra-secure French doors after the robbery three years ago. Saturday night’s break-in prompted the Sigma Kappa executive board to purchase a full security system, including cameras around the house’s exterior, Chilman said.
“It’ll be a lot harder for anyone to rob us in the future, because we can’t have this keep happening,” she said. “It’s ridiculous that we’ve been robbed twice this year, and we all want to feel safe and protected in our house.”
Fraternities and sororities are not the only theft victims throughout the school year. Chilman said her friends living in unaffiliated housing had also been robbed, usually for expensive technological equipment like computers, which thieves can assume most college students own.
As of now, the fact that two greek houses were robbed two days apart is being regarded as a coincidence, San Luis Obispo Police Department Capt. Keith Storton said. There is no reason to suspect a connection, he said, as the police have been unable to track down the laptop or discover the suspects’ motives in the Delta Sigma Phi case.
The attempted robbery caught the attention of other fraternities, including Phi Sigma Kappa, whose main house is within walking distance of Delta Sigma Phi’s. Phi Sigma Kappa President and biomedical engineering senior Karim Dudum said he told the rest of his chapter to keep track of their valuables and lock doors when leaving their rooms.
“One of the biggest concerns as a fraternity president is dangerous threats coming into the house,” Dudum said. “You always know these things can happen, but this is kind of a wake-up call to make sure we’re paying attention to the things we can in order to keep the house as safe as it can be.”
Police logs are littered with attempted robberies, even in relatively safe San Luis Obispo. But the incident with Delta Sigma Phi hit close to home because of the ease suspect Cameron Akins seemed to have getting inside the house, Dudum said.
Anywhere between eight and 12 brothers live in the Phi Sigma Kappa main house at one time, less than the 16 to 30 residing in Delta Sigma Phi’s house.
“Someone just walked in and kind of started raising hell, for lack of a better term,” Dudum said. “I never really thought of fraternity houses as a target, but I guess they might be.”
The robbery caught the attention of national websites such as Total Frat Move, which reported one story on the robbery itself and another on civil engineering junior Forrest Baker’s takedown of the suspect.
Storton told Mustang News the police were investigating whether the attempted robbery had any connection to illegal narcotics, specifically the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) treats Xanax as a Schedule IV controlled substance, though doctors may write prescriptions for the pill.
Section 5 of Cal Poly greek life’s alcohol and drug policy reads, “The possession, sale or use of any ILLEGAL DRUGS or CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES while on chapter premises or during a fraternity event or at any event that an outsider would associate with the fraternity is prohibited.”
Baker and former Delta Sigma Phi President and nutrition senior Gear McMillan, both of whom live in the house, have repeatedly denied any illegal drug use or dealing among residents.