WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Police have identified several people they say broke into a closed construction site and stole equipment to enter the university’s tunnel system.
The Purdue University Police Department said the investigation comes as workers at the Purdue STEM construction site have reported trespassing and damage to the site in mid-to-late September. This includes one case where a sledgehammer was used to break a lock off a secured temporary tunnel door.
“Trespassing on a construction site and unauthorized entry into the university’s underground utility tunnels is a serious safety hazard for those who are not properly trained or authorized to enter those areas,” Purdue police chief John Cox said. “Stealing equipment that is designed to keep workers safe on a construction site sets building efforts back, as the workers are unable to perform their duties.”
Police identified the suspects as William D. Long, 19, a freshman in First-Year Engineering from Sandy Springs, Georgia.; Landon W. Clouser, 19, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts from Swayzee; Jason E. Lee, 18, a freshman in the Polytechnic Institute from South Bend; and Josh L. Roiter, 18, a sophomore in the Polytechnic Institute from Crown Point.
The department referred possible charges of burglary, theft and trespassing to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office.