'Sophisticated' burglar hits University of Hawaii Manoa - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

'Sophisticated' burglar hits University of Hawaii Manoa

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are describing a man who broke into an office at the University of Hawaii at Manoa last week as "sophisticated" after looking at the contents of his backpack.

"He was better prepared than the usual burglar," Wayne Ogino, UH campus security chief, said.

From screwdrivers of various sizes to electronic devices that can detect motion, it's hard not to be impressed with what was found inside a University of Hawaii burglar's backpack.

"It looked like this guy was ready for whatever came up," Ogino said.

UH security officers say a geography lecturer returned to his office at Saunders Hall Thursday night, and came face-to-face with the intruder.

"Somebody came rushing out," Ogino said. "He didn't recognize the person. But he realized he had left his office locked, so he pursued the suspect."

The lecturer chased the burglar down the stairwell and managed to grab his backpack.

"I'm very happy that the guy took the initiative to chase down the guy and so forth, but I was very mad at him for taking a chance," Everett Wingert, UH Geography Department chair, said. "If he'd gotten in a bad situation, he might have been injured."

Authorities say the suspect's two-part motion detector may have tipped him off that the lecturer was returning.

"One part was located in an electrical outlet, so it was outside," Ogino said. "If somebody passed that motion detector, it would trigger an alarm by the suspect. Apparently, he had earphones so that would muffle the sound of the alarm."

It's not clear why the geography office was targeted. The lecturer's laptop and other valuables were not touched.

"We're sorry this kind of thing has to happen when we're trying to maintain an educational environment," Wingert said. "We tend to become very nervous. We tend to be watching over our shoulders and so forth, and that's not the kind of environment we like at UH."

The suspect has not been located.

Hawaii News Now's Sean Ibara contributed to this report.

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