Burglars target vacant student properties over winter break


Photo by Ethan Burke.

This property on East Spring Street, where Travis Green’s apartment is located, is one of the places that was burglarized over winter break.

By Ethan Burke

When Miami University students leave for winter break, burglars come knocking. With many properties left vacant for over a month, “J-term” becomes “A term” for opportunistic burglars.

Travis Green was aware of this pattern and took precautions.

“We were concerned after hearing about other break-ins last year all over J term and spring break,” said the Miami senior. “I took almost everything I could home.”

The Oxford Police Department recorded eight reports of burglary or breaking and entering around the New Year — not including Green’s basement apartment on East Spring Street, which was burglarized, but no report was filed.

“The AC unit in one of our windows was pushed in. It fell in the sink and broke a bunch of glasses. They also separated one of the other windows from the frame without shattering the glass,” Green said.

Once the burglars were inside, Green said “they pulled out all the clothes from my dresser and did the same thing to my roommate. They opened pretty much every drawer in the apartment.”

He said a bag with about $20 and some tools were stolen. The thieves did not take the TV, he said.

“My roommate’s mom called the police to tell them there’d been a burglary, but she didn’t file a report. The police said they were aware of other burglaries in the area.”

Green said he and his roommate chose not to file a formal police report because not much was stolen and the property’s managers helped them fix the windows.

Green said that two other houses on his street were also burglarized, with one neighbor losing items including an Xbox.

Police Lt. Lara Fening said the number of winter burglaries varies from year to year. “It depends on the weather,” she said. “People generally aren’t going to want to go around stealing in nine-degree weather.”

Fening said the police “did a good job patrolling the vacant properties” over break.

The Oxford Observer last reported on winter break burglaries during the 2020-21 school year. That year, 14 burglaries were reported over break.