Campus serial burglar arrested
The man who broke into Belmont University's residence halls on three separate occasions was finally arrested on Feb. 20.
The first attempted burglary happened on Oct. 31, 2022 when a mystery man was caught trying to take items out of a student's room.
The same man broke into Hail Hall on Jan. 22, 2023, where he stole a Belmont student’s wallet and Belmont ID card.
The ID card was immediately deactivated so it could not be used to enter buildings — but since the last break in, Belmont’s dispatchers continued monitoring the card’s activity.
This proved to be a breakthrough tactic in catching the culprit.
On the morning of Feb. 20, a dispatcher happened to see that the stolen Belmont ID card was attempting to scan into a residence hall.
“He had the same little butter knife on him, and he used that to attempt to gain entry into another building on campus,” said Deputy Chief Mark Labbé.
When the man was unable to succeed, he then entered the lobby of Tall Hall while someone was leaving and “piggybacked” inside.
When officers arrived and found him, he was attempting to enter a Tall Hall dorm room.
Campus Security officers escorted him out of the building, after which Metro police took him into custody.
“Based off of stuff he did that day, the fact that he had the same clothing, and a lot of the same stuff, it made it easier for us to tie him to previous things,” said Labbé.
The suspect is charged with “aggravated burglary, burglary, possession of burglary tools and property theft totaling $1,000 or less,” according to reports by News Channel 5 Nashville.
The suspect is “being held at the Davidson County Detention Center on $55,000 bond,” according to News Channel 5 Nashville.
Belmont students are grateful and relieved that this man has been captured.
“I’m happy with how it’s being handled. I’m really glad that he got captured, and I hope it doesn’t happen again,” said Tall Hall resident Neev O’Neill.
“I was honestly kind of surprised, because I feel like the security of the building is really good. We have to have a key card to get in everywhere.”
The Belmont University campus will finally be able to take a deep breath knowing that the mystery man has been captured.
“He has been doing this literally for years. It’s all he does. So hopefully that means he goes away for a while this time,” said Labbé.
This article was written by Elisabeth Gage