BYU Police arrest masked student who used campus tunnels to sneak in and steal food

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Statue of Brigham Young on the BYU campus in Provo, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

A Brigham Young University student has been arrested after he allegedly donned a black mask, sneaked through underground tunnels on campus and stole food.

According to BYU Police, an employee at the university's Culinary Support Center was startled on Sunday night when he “ran into a male wearing a black mask and black clothing” after hours when the building was locked. The employee asked the man in black what he was doing there; the man in black ran away.

“Officers … determined that the suspect had accessed the building through an underground tunnel system,” according to a probable cause statement. But by the time police arrived, the man was gone. And security footage showed the man “appeared” to be “holding a food item in his hand when he fled and returned to the tunnels.”

BYU Police checked video footage from other security cameras around campus and discovered a man matching the suspect's description entering an on-campus dorm “a few minutes after” the encounter with the CSC employee, according to the probable cause statement. A check of electronic records identified the man in the security footage by the key card he used to gain access to the dorm.

On Tuesday, a BYU police officer contacted the 19-year-old — a current BYU student — and he “admitted that he was the suspect who had been confronted in the CSC on Sunday night.” According to police, the suspect also “admitted” that he had been in the tunnel system three times in the past month, and that on two of those occasions he “stole food products that he later ate at his dorm.”

The suspect was booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of burglary; his bail was set at $5,000.

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