University District hit with rash of burglaries

SEATTLE -- Seattle Police and University of Washington police are trying to catch the burglar or burglars who've broken into at least eight homes just north of the university's campus since early August.

Some of the victims were asleep inside the homes when the burglars got in, and police say many of the burglaries have happened at fraternities. Some of the fraternities house female students during the summer, students said.

Sophomore Dani Faist said she's determined there was a 2-hour window that a burglar had on August 19th to break into her room at one of the fraternities.

"We were here. We were in the front lawn just hanging out having a bon fire," Faist said.

Faist said she didn't realize until the next morning that her wallet and a friend's laptop computer had been stolen while they were outside.

"It was a little unsettling thinking you're safe in a house and really there's somebody walking around late at night taking things," Faist said.

The burglary is one of eight that has been reported just north of the University of Washington campus since the beginning of the month, police said.

"One of our live-in girls came and woke me up at 4:30 in the morning," said junior Blake Dean.

Dean said he was asleep inside his fraternity on August 7th when a burglar broke into several rooms and stole three or four laptop computers, several phones and a backpack. His laptop was one of the ones that was stolen.

Dean said whoever broke into his fraternity targeted several other homes while carrying a fire extinguisher.

"If somebody opens up and see him. So, he opens someone's door, a girl sits up in bed, and he just sprays her down," Dean said.

Police said the burglars have gotten in through unlocked or open windows and doors usually during the early morning hours. Whoever is responsible may have also tampered with security cameras at one of the homes, police said.

A housekeeper confronted a possible burglar inside another, they added. The man was described as black in his mid-20s. He was about 6'0" and 210 pounds. He was wearing all black clothing and possibly carrying a black backpack, police said.

"Obviously upset because that's a $1,500 computer. Two of them down the drain, so you can't really do much about it," said Dean.

Police said they haven't identified any suspects just yet.

Students living in the homes that have been hit are making changes to improve safety, they said.

"We don't tell anybody our door code," said Faist. "That's been made very clear. We change that weekly probably."

Police said if you do see something suspicious in the area, call 911 right away.