Student accused of multiple crimes, involving theft, vandalism, drugs and porn, across KU Central District

A University of Kansas student is accused of breaking into multiple construction sites in the KU Central District in recent months, stealing items, tagging walls with spray paint and in one case, pulling up pornography on a computer in a construction trailer.

KU Public Safety officers on Monday arrested 18-year-old Cole Patrick Phillips, of Middleton, Wis., on suspicion of burglary, theft, criminal damage to property, unauthorized computer access and drug charges, the department said in a news release Tuesday.

The arrest followed an investigation of crimes that were reported from December 2017 into February 2018, police said.

Related case numbers on the department’s online crime map detail a string of six incidents, three in mid-December and three more at the end of January and beginning of February.

According to the online reports, from Dec. 9 to Dec. 11, someone reportedly broke into two trailers at Central District construction sites, as well as several buildings and vehicles in the area.

In one incident, items worth $269 were stolen from a trailer. In another, the window to a trailer was broken and prescription drugs were stolen. And in a third incident, which occurred sometime between 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 5 a.m. Dec. 11, $15,000 in damage was caused after several vehicles and buildings were broken into and damaged with spray paint. An additional $100 in loss was reported, and marijuana and drug paraphernalia were left in one of the vehicles.

More vandalism and burglaries occurred the morning of Jan. 31, when someone broke a glass door at the Central Utility Plant in the 1600 Block of Ousdahl Road and tagged a wall with spray paint, causing $2,000 in damage.

Shortly after, a glass window was broken at a construction trailer and the inside walls, desk and toilet were tagged with spray paint, causing $2,000 in damage. A person then used a private computer to access pornographic content, according to the online crime report.

The final incident was reported Saturday morning and occurred overnight, according to the online crime report. In that incident, police said someone entered a secure construction site and spray painted graffiti on the walls of two apartments, causing $1,500 in damage.

Phillips was booked into Douglas County Jail around 8:30 p.m. Monday on six counts of burglary, six counts of criminal damage to property, two counts of possession of marijuana, two counts of use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, one count of possession of stimulants, one count of theft and one count of unlawful acts or unauthorized access on a computer.