The University of Alaska housing community is home to almost 1,000 students. Part of UAA Housing’s mission is to make these students feel safe and secure.
On April 6, 2012, the University Police Department was called to the Edward Lee Gorsuch Commons mailroom to investigate reports of possible mail theft. The Commons is thought of as the heart of the UAA housing community, where residents eat, hang out, check their mail and feel a sense of connection with fellow students. Over the past couple of weeks, UPD has initiated an investigation, conducted interviews and seized evidence. Officers have been contacting possible victims in an ongoing process to gather further information.
“There have been incidents where mail has gone missing during the past two years I’ve lived here, and it’s about time this has finally come to light,” said one student living in the East Hall.
The case has generated attention throughout campus and called for immediate action.
“We are currently looking at our mail procedures and are making changes in our processes,” Business Services Director, Bob McDonnell said.
The UAA housing community has three residence halls — North, East, and West — all of which house 200 students each. There is also the six building Main Apartment Complex (MAC), which houses 296 students, and the Templewood Townhouses, which house 80 students.
Many students living in the UAA housing community are freshmen, away from home for the first time.
“These cases are the saddest because the victims are students who come out to school and wait on letters and packages from home,” USUAA vice president Andrew McConnell said.
According to UPD Deputy Chief Munn, this is an ongoing investigation because the number of victims coming forward keeps climbing. It could take anywhere from days to weeks to sift through all the details.
Munn said that because this is currently classified as an active case, he could only supply very limited information.
UPD did confirm, however, that they have identified a suspect but cannot release his name until charges have been filed against him.