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Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

CRIME STOPPERS ALERT ISSUED

May 7, 1998

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KU police seek students' assistance

in solving Oliver false alarm case

Campus police are cracking down on false alarms at a Kansas University residence hall.

Kansas University police are hoping Oliver Hall residents who were awakened by fire alarms three times in one night can help them catch the culprit responsible for the disturbances.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical personnel responded to three separate alarms Saturday morning at the hall, located on the campus' southern border at 1815 Naismith.

KU Police Sgt. Chris Keary said a campus Crime Stoppers alert might help lead police to suspects.

``We're concerned, because it takes the fire department away from real alarms, and it also takes away the opportunity for residents to get a good night's sleep, especially during finals week,'' Keary said.

The first alarm came at 12:54 a.m. Saturday when a first-floor fire extinguisher was discharged; the second came about 40 minutes later when a fire extinguisher on the sixth floor was discharged. Keary said the powder in extinguishers is so fine, it triggers the smoke detector

The last alarm was at 4 a.m., when someone pulled an alarm on the third floor's north wing.

Residents had to evacuate the building after each alarm.

On Wednesday, a fire alarm was activated at Templin Residence Hall, 1515 Engel Rd.

``It does put a lot of people at a disadvantage,'' said Fred McElhenie, associate director of student housing. ``I think the attempt here is that `Let's find these folks that are inconveniencing all their peers and make them accountable,' and Crime Stoppers is one way of doing that.''

Anthony T. Schulte, a 19-year-old student from Salina who lived in Oliver Hall last year, was charged after confessing to pulling a fire alarm in the hall in October. There were five false alarms at the hall last fall, but Schulte was connected to only one of them. He avoided prosecution through a diversion agreement with the Douglas County District Attorney's office.

Keary said a Crime Stoppers tip helped lead police to Schulte.

``We're hoping to get the same response from this one,'' Keary said.Callers will remain anonymous and a cash reward is available. To report information about this or any other crime on campus, call the KU Public Safety Office at 864-5900 or Crime Stoppers at 864-8888.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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