Repeat of break-in prompts increase in cameras

In the wake of a break-in to the women’s swim team locker room Sunday, police say more surveillance cameras are being added to the University Recreation Center.Before the most recent break-in, cameras only monitored the most populated areas of the University Recreation Center but are now being installed to monitor every entrance and exit to the building, TCU Police Sgt. Kelly Ham said.

Due to the similarity between an intrusion in 2005 and the break-in Sunday, added security measures were warranted, Ham said.

The building security is being increased at a fast pace, Ham said.

TCU Police personnel began overseeing the installation of cameras and new locks Monday, he said.

The amount of cameras in the Rec Center will be increased from 16 to 32, Ham said.

The additions are estimated to cost less than $20,000, Ham said.

Karen Sandifer, a member of the swim team who saw the suspect in the locker room Sunday, said the installation of more cameras is “a step in the right direction.”

All cameras on campus are recorded digitally and store recordings for up to one week, Ham said.

Police dispatchers monitor cameras in the parking lots and academic buildings as their staff allows, Ham said.

Police are hoping to create another division in the department solely for the purpose of monitoring surveillance cameras 24 hours a day, Ham said.

The investigation on the locker-room break-ins is still ongoing, he said.

Ham declined to comment on whether he believes the suspect is a student until – and if – an arrest is made.

The method the suspect used to enter and exit the building has been established, Ham said, but cannot be disclosed.

Sandifer, an early childhood education major, said she feels some peace of mind knowing there has been an addition of security to the building.

But the most peace of mind will come when the suspect is caught, she said.

Steve Kintigh, director of campus recreation, did not return several phone calls seeking comment.