Texas State University emphasizes dorm safety after burglary

Signs placed on entrances of Sterry Hall following burglary of Texas State dorm (KXAN Photo)
Signs placed on entrances of Sterry Hall following burglary of Texas State dorm (KXAN Photo)

 

 

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – A Texas State University dorm is taking extra precautions after a man was caught entering one of the rooms and touching a student as she slept.

According to court documents, Ledward Spencer entered a room in Sterry Hall, sat down on a student’s bed and began touching her hair, arm and face. Police were able to track down Spencer just blocks away from the dorm in the 100 block of University Drive.

Since the incident, Sterry Hall has placed signs at each entrance urging students to only allow those that they know into the building.

Signs placed on entrances of Sterry Hall following burglary of Texas State dorm (KXAN Photo)
Signs placed on entrances of Sterry Hall following burglary of Texas State dorm (KXAN Photo)

Ledward Spencer’s Criminal History

  • Possession of marijuana in 2010
  • Sale of alcohol to minors in 2014

“You’ve got to make sure you do everything that you can to make sure that it is secure, and if you know someone else that isn’t securing the doors, you have to report them,” said School Safety Specialist Tom Kelley.

Both students living inside the dorm told police that they rarely lock their doors. Other students who live on campus say it’s not uncommon for strangers to be allowed inside.

“Most people if they don’t have access, they will just knock. Most people would just open the door for each other,” said Sterry Hall Resident Kevin Kadiri. “Coming into Sterry is easier than most dorms, I would say.”

Texas State didn’t make anyone available for interviews so we don’t know what, if any, permanent changes the school plans to make in response to the break-in. However, school safety experts say that controlling access in a dorm setting can be difficult.

“There’s always that person that doesn’t belong here, that isn’t from here, whether they are homeless or traveling down IH-35, or whatever. Any college or university can attract someone who is looking for opportunities,” said school safety specialist Tom Kelley.

According to Texas State University data, so far this year there have been five reports of burglary cases at a university dorm. Records dating further back show 37 burglaries that were reported in 2014, 24 of those happened in student housing.

Texas State also has a long list of crimes involving people who are not students. Since the beginning of 2014, police have issued 120 warning and made 55 arrests for criminal tresspassing.

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