Police charge Morrissey intruder with felony theft
A week of thefts in Morrissey Hall ended Tuesday with a car chase and the arrest of an alleged serial burglar.
Lorenzo Jackson, 42, of South Bend, was charged with felony theft and criminal trespassing at approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday, a St. Joseph County Jail spokesman said.
Notre Dame Security/Police responded to a call at Morrissey at approximately 8:20 a.m. after an unauthorized person reportedly entered a student's unlocked, second-floor room.
Before officers arrived, the suspect fled the room, police reported. The room's residents then chased him through the dorm.
A witness outside saw the suspect run out of the South Quad hall and head west on a path around Saint Mary's Lake, police reported. Seconds later, an officer responding to the call saw a vehicle leave the D-6 parking lot with a passenger that matched the suspect's description, assistant director of Notre Dame Security/Police Chuck Hurley said.
The officer followed the vehicle southbound on U.S. 31, then westbound on Angela Boulevard to Diamond Avenue near Lincolnway.
"When the car stopped on Lincoln, the driver fled on foot, but the other two passengers, including the suspect, were apprehended," Hurley said.
The driver was not caught, but two passengers were arrested.
Jackson later was identified in a photographic line-up by a dorm resident. The other passenger was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
The student who identified Jackson found the man in his room after returning from a shower at approximately 8 a.m. Monday. The resident then discovered money had been taken from a wallet on his desk and reported the incident to Notre Dame Security/Police.
Jackson also is connected to a similar Aug. 27 crime reported by another Morrissey resident.
In all three instances, students left their doors unlocked while they left to shower or slept. Hurley recommended students lock doors when not in their rooms.
"In the past, whenever there is something stolen, the students usually left the door open or unlocked," Hurley said. "It is very important for students to lock their door."
Morrissey rector Father William Seetch attributed the lack of locked doors to students "naivete about theives" skills.
"Safety on the campus is pretty good, but the quick thief is hard to find. Most of the thieves are from South Bend," Seetch said. "Students are very trusting here because they view it like home.
"However, in the morning when they are showering, the thief can go in and steal money and CDs in seconds. Students need to lock their doors whenever they leave their room," he added.
Sophomore Morrissey resident Richard Klee agreed students are vulnerable to theft.
"I think a lot of guys are starting to lock their doors more often," Klee said, "[but] I think everybody's still pretty laid back about [theft in the dorms]."
Considering the vulnerability of rooms in dorms where entrance doors remain unlocked, female dorms have chosen to secure main doors at all times.
"It is up to the dorm rector whether the doors will be locked all the time, but I think it will eventually happen," Seetch said. "The key issue against it is hospitality.
"When I was a student at Notre Dame, all of the dorms were open," he continued. "It is a hassle and a lack of hospitality when the doors are locked all day, but it might be necessary."
Staff writer Michelle Krupa contributed to this report.
All News Stories for Wednesday, September 1, 1999