Greek Houses Struck In Weekend Heists

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Two UC Berkeley fraternities were burglarized and robbed over the weekend, prompting the houses to take further security precautions.

A robbery at gunpoint occurred in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house Sunday night.

Fraternity members said CDs and money were among the items taken. According to Berkeley police reports, marijuana was also stolen. UC Berkeley junior and Sigma Alpha Epsilon member Nick Cuniffe said the perpetrators were in their mid-20s, and one of them wielded a gun.

Cuniffe said the fraternity has been burglarized in the past but this is the first time a weapon was involved. Sigma Alpha Epsilon intends to increase security following the robbery.

"We're taking precautions that include changing locations of rooms and having more security procedures," Cuniffe said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter president Ted Kniesche declined to comment, saying it was in the best interest of the victims and the national organization.

The robbery was one of two crimes that occurred at fraternity houses in Berkeley over the weekend-Phi Kappa Tau was also burglarized Sunday.

The windows of two ground-level rooms of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house were kicked in, enabling burglars to enter the house and take a snowboard, a Playstation 2 and a laptop computer.

The burglary occurred between 12:30 and 1 a.m. while members were away at their spring formal in San Francisco, said UC Berkeley sophomore Ryan Dodd, one of four people whose property was stolen in the crime. Dodd said he felt violated by the burglary.

"I'm a pretty big guy and I don't really fear for my life," Dodd said. "But when your house is broken into and there's nothing you can do about it, you feel kind of helpless. I felt as if I was there, I could have stopped it."

Phi Kappa Tau house manager and Daily Californian photographer Ramin Rahimian asked the alumni board of governors a month ago to fix the "really old" windows over the summer.

"Some (windows) have to be held together with string because the hinges are broken," Rahimian said.

UC Berkeley sophomore Augustine Chen, whose laptop was stolen, said he does not think the crime will be solved.

"Three weeks ago, my friend was also burglarized," Chen said. "He didn't live in a frat, but an apartment. They took his Playstation 2 and (the police) still don't have any leads."


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