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Oaks break-in suspect caught

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by Veronica L.McClendon
Staff Writer

A burglary in the Oaks Residence Hall Saturday, April 5, resulted in an arrest after two ULV students detained the man.

Victor Vasquez was arrested and booked for public drunkenness and burglary.

At approximately 5:30 a.m., senior Ichiro Sato, exchange students Emiko Uno and Emi Nitta, and senior Takashi Sakaguchi were up studying on the top floor of B building in the Oaks when they heard someone struggling with the door.

It was discovered later that Vasquez pried the door open with a pocket knife.

The students said they decided to be quiet, hoping that the noise would stop, and because they were afraid. The next thing they knew Vasquez had entered the building.

Due to the students being behind a wall, they could not see who was in the building. After Vasquez left, Sato said he was watching him through the window as he walked down the stairs. The other students checked their belongings which were sitting on a table next to the door.

Uno noticed that her money had been taken from her wallet. Sato and Sakaguchi immediately went out the door following Vasquez.

They began questioning Vasquez. He said that he was looking for a friend. Then they asked how he got into the residence halls. Sakaguchi said that Vasquez replied, “I have a key.”

Sakaguchi told Vasquez that this was a student dormitory and asked him how he got a key. Vasquez responded, “his girlfriend gave it to him.” Then the students asked who his girlfriend was and he mentioned names of people who were not familiar to them as residents of B-top.

Sakaguchi said, “The man appeared to me about 50 years old and he had a styrofoam cup containing some form of alcoholic beverage.” As Ichiro and Sakaguchi began catching up to Vasquez, he began running.

Ichiro jumped on his back and they wrestled on the ground. They said the suspect was so strong it made it difficult to hold him down so Sakaguchi came to his aid. The whole time they were wrestling with him they were screaming for help.

Sakaguchi said a knife fell off the suspect at one point and Sakaguchi picked it up and tossed it to the side.

Vasquez was threatening them saying, “Let me go I have a gun.”

Uno and Nitta went to seek help. Both are exchange students and they had no idea what the number to Campus Safety was.

They called a friend, Ryo Yasumura, who eventually called the police and Campus Safety.

According to Sakaguchi, Yasumura informed him that the police came approximately five minutes later but to Sakaguchi it felt longer.

Once the police arrived they did not know who the money belonged to. A receipt was found in the money so one of the officers asked, “Who went to In-N-Out recently?” Uno responded so she had to describe what she had purchased.

One hundred and twelve dollars was taken from her wallet of various denominations.

On Tuesday the students were honored at International Day in the University Mall.

They received a ribbon that read “ULV Excellence Award Good Neighbor” and the also received a certificate from Baskin Robbins “For Keeping it Cool.”

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