GARDAÍ have arrested a suspect in connection with a burglary in Merville student residences last Thursday, 13th November. The individual, who has not yet been named, was apprehended by members of the Donnybrook Garda force whilst onboard a bus leaving UCD’s main Belfield campus.
It is believed at least one item of stolen property, a student’s laptop, was recovered from the suspect. Both Gardaí and sources within the university have confirmed that the suspect is not a student at UCD. A source from within An Garda Síochána indicated that the individual in question is suspected of involvement in further incidents of burglary, which have occurred on the Belfield campus this semester. The suspect was charged with the offence at the end of last week, and is currently on bail awaiting trial.
The University Observer was unable to obtain any official comment from university authorities as to whether or not the university is aware of any connection between last week’s arrest and previous crimes on campus. Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá described the crime as “unacceptable”, but commented that he was unaware of the incident.
“I didn’t hear about it at all. It hadn’t been brought to my attention – that’s the kind of thing I’d like to be brought to my attention. It is unacceptable. If it is someone who was involved in thefts before, then it is very worrying.”
Mr Ó Deá further remarked that proposed security measures for campus residences from next semester onwards, such as swipe-card admission, would help to limit instances of crime occurring in campus. “The residences are taking measures to clamp down on people being able to access the residences, through this new system of gates we’re putting in. We’re going to be running with that from the start of January.”
A UCD spokesperson has cautioned students to remain aware of their surroundings, saying that “all members of the UCD community are encouraged to remain vigilant at all times, and to immediately report any suspicious behaviour to UCD Services”. The spokesperson added that “as a result of excellent co-operation between residents at Merville, UCD Services and the Gardaí, a man was arrested following a robbery on 13th November 2008. The university would like to commend residents, UCD Services and the Gardaí for their prompt and effective response to this particular incident”.