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Situational awareness: Suspicious activity

This information is being provided to enhance the awareness level of the community about suspicious activity occurring in the Oak Lane area and to provide general information to the entire community about burglary prevention around winter break.

The Virginia Tech Police Department has received three reports within the week of a suspicious person seen in the Oak Lane Community. A male was observed outside of 2615 Oak Lane (SPH Building F) in the evening hours of Dec. 7 and Dec. 8.  On both evenings, it was reported that the unknown male was loitering in a nearby parking lot and attempted to enter the building by following residents as they swiped into the building.  This is commonly referred to as “tailgating.”

The individual in these incidents was described as a college-aged white male, 5'7" tall, with a slim build, a pointy nose with acne, and curly brown hair. He was seen wearing a maroon Virginia Tech sweatshirt with jeans.

The Virginia Tech Police Department received an additional call for service on Dec. 11 at 2965 Oak Lane (SPH Building O) for a suspicious male checking doors and looking into rooms while walking the halls. The subject was similarly described as a white male in his twenties, wearing a maroon sweatshirt with jeans. It is believed the subject may be traveling via Blacksburg Transit.

Officers checked the Oak Lane Community area thoroughly upon receiving each report but the individual was not located. Extra patrols are being conducted during the day and nighttime hours. 

The community should be aware that winter break provides criminals with an opportunity to commit crimes such as burglary. With less community members on campus, the opportunities to find unattended property and unsecured rooms without residents detecting the criminal’s presence increases. In many cases, these crimes are not discovered until the resident returns in January.

With that in mind, all residents of the community are asked to do the following:

  • Lock your doors when out of the room or sleeping. All personal items in a residence hall room can become easy targets and an unlocked door can be an invitation to a thief.
  • Do not allow unattended guests or individuals you do not know to utilize your access to enter buildings.
  • Take the time to secure valuable belongings before departing for winter break.  Consider taking items of sentimental or significant value with you when you depart.
  • Call the police immediately if you witness someone that does not appear to be a resident or is acting suspicious.  Trust your instincts.
  • Additional safety tip information can be found on the Virginia Tech Police website at:

The Virginia Tech Police Department reminds everyone to report all crime and suspicious activity/person(s) anywhere on campus immediately to the Virginia Tech Police Department at 540-382-4343 or by dialing 911. Anonymous tips can be reported online at

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