A University of Wisconsin student was arrested for alleged theft in university housing residence halls including Cole Hall and Sellery Hall.

According to a statement from the UW Police Department, investigators identified a suspect involved with the recent university housing thefts Wednesday. Nicholas Suarez, a student at UW but not a campus housing resident, confessed to investigators he committed the crimes, the statement said. He was then admitted to the Dane County Jail.

UWPD requested charges for burglary, theft and disorderly conduct from the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.

UWPD Sgt. Aaron Chapin said theft is the number one crime on campus and the office receives somewhere between 300-400 cases of it per year.

“Occasionally it does lead to arrest, but a lot of thefts are very difficult to investigate, and there is not a lot of evidence that ends up helping us make arrests,” Chapin said.

Chapin said Suarez’s potential consequences include a conviction for criminal charges and other possible criminal consequences. He added the university also may take disciplinary action as well.

Chapin also said students should lock their dorm rooms even if they are inside them and to make sure they are not letting anyone into the residence halls they do not recognize.

Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said stealing is not uncommon in UW housing on campus and individual cases like this usually occur every semester. 

Resnick said individuals are caught through a variety of measures such as cameras, people turning themselves in and conversations between the UWPD and the Madison Police Department.

Resnick said he agrees students living in the dorms should lock their doors even if they are in their rooms during the day and at night.

“Be diligent even if you are leaving for the bathroom,” Resnick said. “Burglary can happen in a matter of seconds.”

Resnick said students should also register their electronics and copy down any serial numbers because both efforts have the potential to help law enforcement track down stolen items.