Fitts, TUPD name two suspects in string of residential burglaries


Breaking news

Canela López, News Editor Brandi Doyal

Update 9/6:

In President Michael Fitts email to the community, he confirmed that an arrest warrant for Kristian Willemoes and Ekaterina “Katya” Sitnikova was issued in connection to the recent burglaries over the past few weeks.

Fitts said that a suspect has not yet been named in the armed robbery case. To combat the spike in crime, TUPD has increased paroles and private security personnel around campus. Unmarked units and plain clothes cops are also policing in areas.

In his email, Fitts addressed the increase in crime.

“Tulane, like most universities located in urban settings, often sees an uptick in crime whenever a new semester begins,” Fitts said. “However, through stepped-up patrols, constant vigilance and continued cooperation among local law enforcement agencies, we seek to prevent such acts as well as ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are quickly apprehended. The safety of our community is paramount.” 

Original Story: 

On Saturday, Tulane University Police Department received reports of three burglaries that occurred since Friday afternoon. The first burglary reported took place in the 7200 block of Burthe Street, following the second in the 900 block of Audubon Street. The third reported burglary was in the 7400 block of Zimple Street. These reports followed a string of five crime reports released by TUPD that occurred between Aug. 20-29.

A Tulane student first reported a burglary on Saturday around 3:30 p.m. in the 7200 block of Burthe Street. The student said that his computer and PlayStation 4 had been removed from his home. The incident was believed to have taken place between 4:30 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday.

The second burglary reported at approximately 4:30 p.m. involved a student who found his phone and wallet missing in the 900 block of Audubon Street. The student reported that the side door to his home was left unlocked during the night, and someone had removed his property. There was no sign of forced entry.

In the third burglary report, four Tulane students living in the 7400 block of Broadway Street informed TUPD that their wallets and laptops had been removed from their home sometime between the times of 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.

There has been no description released of any suspect and the burglaries are under investigation by TUPD and New Orleans Police Department.

Previous Crime Reports

TUPD released a crime report on Aug. 30, detailing several residential burglaries that occurred between Aug. 20-29.

The crime report stated that TUPD had recently learned of these five burglaries, which were under investigation by the New Orleans Police Department, and they were similar to others in the area.

A burglary was said to have occurred between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. on Aug. 20 on the 900 block of Lowerline Street.

On Aug. 21, two burglaries were reported, with the first occurring between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the 2100 block of Audubon Street and the second at no specific time on the 7600 block of Maple Street.

On Aug. 23, a burglary was reported on the 7400 block of Hampson Street. On Monday, a burglary was reported in the 900 block of Pine Street.

These burglaries were reported by TUPD to have similarities to other burglaries in the area, such as the same method of entry. There has been no word if these incidents are connected to those that occurred on Saturday.

TUPD urges students to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity. In the case of an emergency, contact TUPD at 504-865-5911.

This investigation is currently ongoing and the article will be updated as information becomes available.  

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