String of break-ins plague campus

Chemistry professor, AJ Bates discusses his initial reaction to the break-in.

By Daniel Chee/The Skyline View

Chemistry professor, AJ Bates discusses his initial reaction to the break-in.


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A suspect broke into four offices in building seven and eight on Sept. 15, taking text books from them. The offices in question belonged to the Science/Math/Technology (SMT) and Language Arts divisions.

A janitor reported the break-in to campus security on the morning of the 15th and he noted that these various offices showed signs that someone had attempted to break in to them. The Public Safety Office has filed a report to San Bruno Police.

The offices that were broken into belonged to Professor A.J. Bates (8236), Professor Patricia Deamer (7322), MESA director Stephen Fredrick’s (7326A), and Professor Carmen Velez (7326B).

“We think we’ve identified someone who may be a person of interest and we’ve communicated that to the San Bruno police,” said Chief of Public Safety Robert Dean, referring to the fact that they believed the suspect to be a student based on the clothing he was wearing.

A meeting of the Health Safety Committee on the 18, three days after the break in, showed that the suspect was captured on security camera and seen leaving building seven with a backpack and a bag of books.

Of the four staff members whose offices were broken into, two were shown the security video but they did not recognize the suspect, according to the same meeting the suspect seemed aware of the placement of the security cameras.

According to Chief Dean, the building was empty with few students at campus around at the time the crime took place. He also mentioned that as a result of the crime additional latches were added to all four offices that were broken into.

“Thoroughly surprised because in 38 years this had never happened before,” wrote Professor Patricia Deamer in reaction to the break in via email.

“It feels like my personal space has been violated” said Professor Bates, when he was asked for his reaction to the break-in. He also pointed out the latches that has been added to his office door and pointed out that he hopes that security will be increased.

San Bruno police are currently investigating the crime, and anyone who has information, please contact them at their business line at (650) 616-711.