ECSU beefing up dorm security in wake of thefts


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Campus police have asked Elizabeth City State University students to take precautions — in particular, to lock their dorm room doors — following a rash of dormitory thefts and the arrest of an ECSU student in connection with two of them.

Paul Samuel Culbreth IV, 18, of Gastonia, was arrested Jan. 10 and charged with two counts each of burglary, larceny and possession of stolen property, according to campus police.

Culbreth is accused of taking two Sony Play Station systems, valued at $250 each, from two different rooms in University Towers between 10 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 8.

ECSU Police Chief John Manley said the dorm rooms from which the Play Stations were removed had been left unlocked.

“This was not a burglary like you have when someone is kicking in doors but it was still a theft,” he said.

So far this semester there has been a large number of incidents in which items were stolen from unlocked dorm rooms, Manley said, noting the other cases have not yet been solved.

“We are still working on that,” he said.

The other incidents include:

* Two other thefts of electronic game systems from dorm rooms in University Towers on Jan. 8

* Theft of $10 in household goods from a dorm room in Viking Village on Jan. 13

* Theft of a pair of Air Jordan shoes valued at $220 from a room in University Towers on Jan. 18

* Theft of $2,670 worth of electronics and shoes from a room in University Towers on Jan. 20

* Theft of $575 worth of electronics from a room in University Towers on Jan. 23

* Theft of $45 worth of clothes from a room in Viking Towers on Jan. 23

* Theft of $100 worth of clothes from a student room at the Hampton Inn on Jan. 30

* Theft of $66 worth of socks from the University Towers laundry room on Feb. 8

* Theft of a wallet containing $700 cash as well as credit/​debit cards at the student center on Feb. 9.

In the wake of the thefts, campus police have beefed up security in all residence halls, Manley said. Police are also asking students to be more careful and vigilant.

“We are encouraging students to take greater personal responsibility by keeping their doors locked at all times,” he said.