Student neighborhood burglarized over Thanksgiving break

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Eau Claire’s college student neighborhood is on high alert after several burglaries over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Eau Claire Police Department responded to four burglary calls over the weekend in the neighborhood surrounding the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

It said burglars target student housing this time of year because they know students will be home for the holidays.

On Monday, WEAU 13 News spoke with two students who came home from Thanksgiving break to find their apartment is disarray.

After surveying their upstairs apartment on Niagara Street, roommates Gretchen Bachmeier and Heidi Anderson said they found money had been stolen and their closets and dressers were ripped apart.

“I had a wallet taken from me which, it had a lot of personal information in there. A large amount of change was in there,” Bachmeier said.

Anderson said because they live on the second floor, she never expected to be a victim of a burglar.

“One of my lamps was tipped over so I think he went through some of my personal stuff,” Anderson said.

The UW-Eau Claire students believe the suspect may have entered their apartment through an unlocked window.

“We were lax about our house and I think that will definitely change,” Bachmeier said.

Four other campus area homes, including a house less than a block away, were burglarized over Thanksgiving weekend.

“Thanksgiving break, Christmas break and spring break, there is a spike in residential burglaries in those off campus houses,” said Eau Claire Police Detective Todd Johnson.

Johnson said burglars in the area are on the hunt for cash.

“They tend to stay away from things that are easily identified, electronics, things that have serial numbers,” Johnson said.

If your family travels this holiday season, Johnson suggests taking valuables with you.

“Having doors and windows locked isn't going to impede people from breaking a window or door to make entry into your house,” Johnson said.

The detective also suggests letting your neighbors know if you’re going to be away over the holidays so they can keep an eye out for you.

He said police are still investigating the weekend burglaries.

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