The ASU Police Department arrested a man after he entered Taylor Place Saturday night and stole a student's laptop, court documents say.
According to court documents, Donald Ray Marshall entered the Downtown Phoenix campus residence hall around 11:25 p.m. and went into two residents' rooms on two separate floors, stealing a laptop from one of them. He was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree trespassing and one count of second degree burglary, the court documents and an ASU PD spokesperson said.
ASU PD located Marshall at 3:46 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Circle K on the corner of First and Fillmore avenues, according to court documents.
Taylor Place resident Nick Kennealy, a freshman studying sports journalism, said he saw Marshall walk past the turnstiles, which he said had been broken for weeks, and into the elevator area.
"He was just standing by the elevators. He got in somehow," Kennealy said, referring to the main entrances. "I don't know if the door was unlocked or propped open. But he made it in."
Kennealy said he walked into the convenience store connected to Taylor Place to avoid confrontation with Marshall. When he came out a couple minutes later, Marshall was gone.
Justin LaCertosa, also a freshman studying sports journalism, said he was in the elevator with Marshall, who then got off on the fourth floor. Court documents say he entered rooms on the second and 14th floors.
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her safety, said she came home Sunday morning around 2 a.m. to find her laptop gone.
"I checked Find My iPhone and saw that it was two blocks away at a Circle K," the resident said. "I was like, there's no way this is happening right now."
She went downstairs to the security guard and asked if he could check the hallway cameras to confirm whether anyone had entered her room. She said the security guard told her the building doesn’t have any hallway cameras. However, the police were able to check the cameras and identify the man.
ASU PD used Find My iPhone to track down Marshall and retrieve the student's laptop.
A Taylor Place student staff member said issues with the building's security are some of the reasons the incident happened. The student asked to remain anonymous to protect their job.
The student staff member said Taylor Place contracts its security through a private firm, which could have been a contributing factor to the situation.
"ASU does not actually employ any of the security like employees," the staff member said. "It makes it a little more difficult if there are issues with specific people on security staff or processes that need to be adapted regarding activities on campus because that's all third party."
The student also said there has been a lot of security personnel turnover in the last year or so, making a lot of current security staff brand new.
The student staff member, along with several other residents, said the turnstiles have been out of order for weeks. So while residents still have to scan a student ID to get into the building, there's no barrier to stop anyone from walking through to the elevator bay. A student ID does need to be scanned in order to call an elevator. However, if the elevator is already called by another resident, it's easily accessible, students said.
"I think that's pretty much what happened," the staff member said. "Someone just walked through the turnstiles, went into the elevator with a person who was already in or coming out of one and then was wandering through the building."
The staff member also said CAs aren't informed of incidents unless ASU PD gets involved. They said ASU PD responded and asked the CAs if they saw anything.
"We were all kind of hyper vigilant at that point," the staff member said. "But for those of us whose floors were not impacted, that was the extent of our information. And most of the residents were not impacted in any way. … They didn't know what was going on."
Edited by Piper Hansen, Reagan Priest, Greta Forslund and Grace Copperthite.
Angelina is the Executive Editor at The State Press. She directly oversees the digital production and engagement teams, as well as the magazine, multimedia, and digital departments. She has the final editorial say of all things published by the organization.
Sadie Buggle is the Editor of the State Press Opinion Desk. This is her third semester working for the State Press after two semesters reporting for the Community and Culture Desk.
Alexis Heichman leads the Multimedia Department of the State Press. She is a student studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.