Muskingum University Police responded to reports of a suspect impersonating a detective and searching university townhouses. The townhouses are located across from Donna J. Newberry Field and behind the Ulster Club fraternity house.
The identity of the man is not yet known.
According to Chief of University Police, Danny Vincent, the incident happened around 1:20 a.m. Sunday, March 19.
He said most students responded by not letting the suspect in and trying to confirm who he was.
“If you’re in your townhouse or in your dorm room and you hear a knock on your door and say they are campus police, we need to talk to you and [if] you’re not sure or you don’t feel comfortable call campus police,” said Vincent.
The suspect presented an unidentified badge, claimed he was with the University Police, and he said he was there to search the residence for stolen items.
Vincent said some students opened the door letting the suspect in, but nothing was stolen and no one was harmed.
“One person followed him all around the townhouse the whole time he was in there and said he never took a thing,” said Vincent.
The suspect is described as a male in his early to mid-20s, with a thin build, dark hair, and was dressed in a dark trench coat that reached below his knees.
A Muskingum University Townhouse Residence Assistant reported the suspect was trying to enter the townhouses and both University Police and New Concord Police Department responded.
Muskingum Emergency Text Alerts (M.E.T.A) were sent to the Muskie community at 1:44 a.m. and 1:56 a.m. on March 19. The first message alerted people to what was happening. The second message said “do not open your door for anyone who says they’re Campus Police unless your sure.”
Vincent was on campus investigating the disturbance for an estimated three hours trying to find the suspect.
There was another similar report, Vincent said, about 45 minutes later in between New Concord and Zanesville.
Vincent wants students to know officers usually wear their uniforms if they are searching an on campus residence.
University Police can be reached at 740-826-8155.