Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU Chancellor Robert Coombe’s message about the burglaries

Dear Members of the DU Community:

As you likely know, a number of residences near campus have been burglarized during the past few months, the majority of them occupied by DU students. On four occasions, including the two most recent incidents, these have involved a confrontation between the residents and the intruder.

Although none of these burglaries has occurred on campus, we are very concerned about the safety of all our students, no matter where they live. It seems apparent the person or persons responsible for these crimes has targeted the University community and neighborhoods near campus—neighborhoods that are normally quiet and safe but beyond the jurisdiction of DU Campus Safety. The University is responding to the crimes as follows:

  • We have added $5,000 to the original $2,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrator.
  • As part of our on-going partnership with the Denver Police Department, Campus Safety and DPD have mounted an assertive joint response. The District 3 headquarters is located a few blocks from campus, and our partnership with DPD is intentionally robust and multidimensional. This allows us to greatly expand our ability to respond to incidents on campus and assist DPD with patrolling streets near DU.
  • Communication is a critical part of this joint effort. Yesterday, Campus Safety and DPD personnel canvassed the neighborhood, talking with individual residents to make certain that they know about the burglaries and can take necessary precautions.  As these incidents have occurred, we have sent e-mail crime alerts to the entire campus community, explaining the nature of the incidents and providing information about precautionary steps individuals can take. It is important that all of us are aware of these steps. If, for any reason, you have not received or read one of these alerts, please go to our Web site for an update: The most recent update includes a composite sketch of the suspect.
  • We have received a number of calls from students whose circumstances are such that they feel especially vulnerable.  The University has responded by providing beds in our on-campus residence system at no cost.  If you feel that you are especially vulnerable, please contact Justin Price, director of Housing and Residential Education, at 303-871-5090.

My wife and I live just two blocks from campus, very near the locations of two of the burglaries.  We love the DU neighborhood and know its strength and resilience well.  It is a wonderful, caring, safe place to live. I am hopeful that our joint effort with the Denver Police Department will bring this matter to a close in short order.

Robert Coombe

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