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Montag break-in rounded out 2021 year

Adam Doyle

Contributing Writer

Lock box that was damaged during the break in. Photo by Jade Macer

On December 21st, 2021, at 9:05 p.m., a break-in was reported at Montag Center. The break-in was initially discovered when a backpack belonging to the Outdoor Program was found by a dumpster near Baxter residence hall. According to Director of Campus Recreation Tony Stafford, the items stolen were from established emergency kits in the storage room. According to Stafford, these were designed with the idea that they could be “anything a trip leader would need,” consisting of things such as batteries, stoves, clothes, sleeping bags, axes and more. “It’s things you would want to take care of yourself if you needed to live on your own,” he explained. As to whom he suspects of perpetrating the theft, he identified nearby homeless individuals as potential culprits: “We don’t know the identity of the perpetrator, [but] we assume they identify with the homeless community.”

The Outdoor Program gear closet where the break-in occurred, the lock box is missing from the wall. Photo by Jade Macer

This is not the [first] time Montag has been robbed, as head of Campus Safety Ross Stout admits. However, he told The Collegian that there are plans in place to make this the last. New, tougher doors will be installed with an alarm system. The center was originally designed with surveillance cameras in mind, though they were never implemented; in light of the recent break-ins, cameras will be installed. Some concerns have been raised over the potential of cameras to endanger the privacy of students at the Gender Resource and Advocacy Center. Stout addressed this by stating that Campus Safety is “working closely” to identify locations for cameras that can provide information without intruding on students’ business at the GRAC.

In the immediate aftermath of the most recent theft, potentially valuable supplies have been relocated. As to how this happened, Stout referred to private contractors being employed on campus the day the break-in occurred. “Discussions were had to make sure doors are carefully closed. It’s not certain, but there is a possibility of carelessness. We’ve had conversations,” Stout said.

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תגובה אחת

Ainsley Moench
Ainsley Moench
09 במרץ 2022

What evidence does Tony Stafford have that these items were stolen by unhoused people? What a gross comment to make and unfairly blame people who have been priced out of the growing cost of living in Salem. Salem has some great ways to help our unhoused neighbors if Tony is really all that concerned about them. He should check out Free Fridge Salem.

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