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Rash of burglaries threatens local college campuses

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There has been a rash of burglaries at college campuses at Georgetown University, American University, University of the District of Columbia and Gallaudet University since January. Police say one man is under arrest, but the threat isn’t over.

Georgetown University Campus Chief of Police Jay Gruber says a 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after “knocking on doors and then trying door knobs on numerous student housing townhouses on Prospect Street.”

Gruber says a special plain clothes street crimes unit made up of campus police officers followed James McFerguson for several minutes before arresting him. “They found multiple burglar’s tools – bolt cutters, pry bars, knives-in his backpack,” Gruber says.

He also says McFerguson has “an extensive criminal record for burglary and breaking and entering.”

“He is still on probation and has an ankle bracelet on and he had that bracelet on when he was placed under arrest,” Gruber says.

McFerguson is charged with one count of attempted unlawful entry.

Gruber does not think McFerguson was working with anyone else. He says his getaway vehicle was a bicycle.

McFerguson does not match the description of the two men believed to be responsible for the other burglaries on area campuses.

Police urge students to be vigilant, lock their doors and report any suspicious activity on or off campus.

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