WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Some students at UNCW were finally able to move back into their dorms after Hurricane Florence, but some of their things weren’t there when they got back.
According to UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson, there have been 36 reports of larceny since Oct. 1, when faculty were allowed to return to campus.
In all of 2017, there were 83 larceny reports.
Donaldson said the timeline of the reports lines up with when students returned to campus, and he called this a vulnerable time for everyone.
“I’m terribly disappointed that anyone would take advantage of the circumstances to take somebody else’s property, particularly under circumstances where emotions are becoming raw," he said. "People are literally becoming frayed around the edges, so to speak.”
Donaldson said his department evaluates each case on “solvability” factors, or the ability to find the items.
Freshman Joshua Bean lives in Belk Hall. He said his watches were stolen out of their case, and things were thrown about in the common room of his floor.
“I was pretty angry. I was looking around and I was like, ‘Wow’ because my laptop was actually on top of my desk, which isn’t where I left it," Bean said. "Then I had pencils thrown all over the place. I was trying to go through my head of things that could’ve been stolen and my head went straight to my watches, which were up in my wardrobe. They were in one of the cases and I looked at it and the entire case was empty.”
According to Donaldson, all of the entrances to the university were blocked for 25 days during and after the storm and UNCW police tried to protect the university to the best of its ability.
“There has been a lot of people moving throughout our region and we worked really hard to protect the university and particularly protect the residence halls, residential spaces during this event," Donaldson said. "With close to 150 buildings on campus and limited resources of all capacities, there’s certainly a hint of limitation of what can be done.”