String of burglaries at Mishawaka apartment complex

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – People at University Park Apartments were all talking about the same thing Friday afternoon, the note they all received the night before.

The property manager placed a letter on every door of every apartment in the complex to send a warning to residents. “Please be advised we have received reports of two apartments within the community being burglarized.”

Tenants were surprised to get the news, “This is such a quiet community,” Elyse Knaack said, “I’ve never heard of anything like that out here.” The college student said the burglaries shocked her but the note put on her door scared her.

The letter included a list of precautions people should take until the suspect or suspects are caught. Like, “Avoid going out alone at night and do not let it be known that you are home alone,” and “Carry a flashlight and cell phone after dark to signal or call for help.”

Knaack said the list made her even more nervous, “It wasn’t just a few simple things, it was like you know, made me want to go get a bottle of more pepper spray.”

Other suggestions on the list seemed more like an annoyance; residents are advised to leave on lights and television or radio.

“The electric bill is going to go up if you have to be leaving something on every time you’re either home or away,” Knaack said.

But when word spread of another burglary at the apartment complex, people had a change of heart about the precautions.

“I thought it was an overreaction, but now I guess it is serious,” Knaack said.

On Thursday night a burglar came in through the back door off the patio of an apartment, “Really, well that especially worries me,” Knaack said, “Now I’m even more shocked.”

Most people at University Park Apartments did not know about the third, most recent burglary.“There was a third? …The note only mentioned the two,” Frank Cecrle said.  

Just a few hours after the note went out, another burglary report came in to police. According to the report, two big screen televisions were taken from the apartment.

“Oh great, so that was right after we got the notice,” Cecrle said, “Wow, I didn’t know about that.”

The letter said the Mishawaka Police Department planned to increase patrols in the complex, no arrests have been made in relation to any of the reports.

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