Four Dakota Wesleyan Students took advantage of their neighbors' Thanksgiving vacation by doing some taking of their own.
Mitchell police say the students broke into at least four dorm rooms over the long weekend and stole thousands of dollars in items.
Police are still trying to track down the stolen items. This week they arrested and charged the men.
18-year-old Vincent Piercefield and 19-year-old Darius Parnell Lawson each face burglary charges. Police say two others, 20-year-old Roscoe Lee and 18-year-old John Jones, also aided the crime. They are charged with accessory to burglary.
Three of the suspects are linked to athletic programs at the college.
Dayton Halls' rooms sat mostly empty over Thanksgiving break. Police say the four students took advantage of that, going on their own personal shopping spree.
“They were manipulating the locks and in some cases, they were breaking the doors apart and reaching through and unlatching it from the inside and putting the door back together,” Mitchell Police Lt. Don Everson said.
Evenson says police know of four rooms hit for sure. Piercefield and Lawson took the goods from the freshmen residence hall, while Lee and Jones helped break in and unload it.
“We're looking for $4,000 worth of video games, iPods, iPads, laptops,” Evenson said.
“Something of this nature is quite significant to us,” Vice President of University Relations Lori Essig said.
Essig says the students had all come to Mitchell from across the country to play sports. The university is determining the appropriate action it should take.
“Anytime there's obvious misconduct on campus, we have the ability to accordingly withdraw students from all classes and withdraw them from the university,” Essig said.
But that may not happen until the legal process is finished. For now, police are searching for the stolen items and asking everyone here to take a second look around their rooms.
"We know they committed four burglaries for sure," Evenson said. "Probably a lot more. There are probably students out there that have been burglarized and don't even know it yet."
Since all four students are in jail, DWU says that will likely keep them from wrapping up the fall semester.