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Spree of home invasions near UW Oshkosh campus ignites fear of escalation

home invasion
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 18:48:38-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — A series of unsettling home invasions in close proximity to the UW-Oshkosh campus has sparked concerns among people who live there, leaving unease in their wake.

  • Series of unsettling home invasions near UW-Oshkosh campus sparks concerns among residents
  • Three incidents occur in close proximity within a short span of time
  • Police point to patterns in crimes
  • Criminal Justice expert suggests behavior appears non-violent

With three incidents occurring within a short span of time, just blocks away from each other, there's a growing fear that the situation may escalate.

The troubling pattern of these invasions, particularly targeting women on weekends, has raised alarm bells within the community. Each incident follows a similar pattern with the perpetrator wearing a ski mask and fleeing when confronted.

Maya McFarland, a UWO student, expressed unease by living in the area. "I think it's creepy. I mean, I live far enough away, but I'm still pretty close," she says.

Here is a timeline of the events;

  • On April 1st, a female resident reported a male intruder entering their residence on the 800 block of Vine Avenue around 7:28 am.
  • Nearly two weeks later, on April 14th, another woman woke up to find a male intruder standing over her in the 1200 block of Wisconsin around 4:00 am.
  • The most recent incident occurred on May 5th, when a female returned home to find a male intruder in her bedroom on the 800 block of John Street.

Officer Katherine Mann of the Oshkosh Police Department notes the concerning consistency in the timing of the incidents, with two out of three occurring on Sunday mornings. "So I guess that's somewhat of a pattern, and that at least one female resident resided in each location," she says.

Despite the lack of violence in these incidents, the potential for escalation remains a worry for both law enforcement and residents alike. Dr. Matt Richie, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at UWO, acknowledges the possibility of escalation but suggests that the current behavior appears non-violent in nature.

As investigations continue, Officer Mann emphasizes the importance of surveillance footage in identifying the perpetrator. "We want to ask people again, if they live near any of those locations, to check their cameras to see if they do have any video of the suspect," she says.

The community is urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Oshkosh Police Department. Concerned individuals can play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of their neighborhood by staying informed and cooperating with law enforcement efforts.

Oshkosh Police Department

P.O. Box 1130

420 Jackson Street

Oshkosh, WI 54903-1130

Non-Emergency Information: (920) 236-5700