Around 4:40 a.m. Monday morning, senior Eli Greenspan heard a rustle outside of the sliding doors to his bedroom in his off-campus house at 318 Cache La Poudre St.
He peered through the gap in the threshold to see an unfamiliar figure meandering around his living room.
“I think to myself, ‘I really doubt my roommates are up right now’,” he said.
Greenspan armed himself with a hockey stick and watched the figure head upstairs before calling his housemate on the second floor to see if it was in fact one of his four roommates walking about in the middle of the night.
A group of students at an off-campus residence interrupted a burglar collecting items to steal from their home early this week, according to police, Campus Safety, and resident reports. In a bizarre exchange that left five seniors on the losing end of a strange encounter, the thief walked away in the middle of the night with a few thousand dollars of stolen goods never to be seen again.
Gavin Nachbar, a senior, was the housemate upstairs who eventually confronted the burglar.
“Instantly I knew it wasn’t one of our roommates,” Nachbar said. “I just started yelling.”
The thief, who Nachbar and Greenspan said was clearly intoxicated, told Nachbar that he had “scared him” when encountered and kindly introduced himself as Luke.
While visibly nervous, the intruder made small talk, Nachbar said.
The burglar told the residents that another roommate, whom he identified by name, had told him that he could spend the night at the house. After consultation with that housemate, senior Jayson Post, it became obvious that the intruder was lying.
“He was clearly not a CC student,” Greenspan said.
The man then apologized for the confusion and was escorted out of the house empty handed.
Initially the residents at 318 Cache La Poudre St. believed the man to only be drunk and lost.
That turned out to be far from the case.
The residents searched their home to see if anything was missing and found that the burglar had taken a laptop, a wallet, an iPod, and was preparing to steal thousands of dollars of camera equipment and other electronics.
One day later they realized “Luke” had even taken a video game — FIFA for XBOX.
Several students told The Catalyst that the burglar had come uninvited to a party at a neighboring student-rented house at 322 Cache La Poudre St. Sunday night. He told hosts and guests there that he had arrived to fix a broken keg tap, which wasn’t true.
Ali Weibel, another student who lives nearby on the block, called Campus Safety around midnight to inform them of a suspicious looking individual there.
“It looked like he may have stolen and stuffed things under his hoodie,” Weibel said.
Nachbar and Greenspan said the individual was walking up and down Cache La Poudre Street looking like he was “stalking” the houses there.
Campus Safety officers responded and searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect. A report was filed, but officers did not return, Weibel said.
Campus Safety sent an all-campus timely warning email to the community on Monday afternoon warning of the break-in.
“Although this is the first incident of this type reported to Campus Safety this fall, there were a series of thefts at off-campus residences in April involving suspects not affiliated with CC who used parties to gain access into residences to commit the thefts,” the email.
The five student residents — seniors Conor Crowley, Nathan Hahn, Gavin Nachbar, Jayson Post, and Eli Greenspan — who all live at the burglarized house say they have sured up their locks and windows since the incident.
All agreed that it made them more aware of off-campus dangers, especially strangers who show up uninvited at house parties and can sometimes cause problems thereafter.
Campus Safety described the suspect as a white male, 6′ 2″, mid-20s to mid-30s, with an athletic build. He was wearing a baggie white hoodie, and spoke with a very deep voice.