Safety concerns for UA students after man arrested for home invasions

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Some University of Alabama students are on edge after police arrested a man for breaking into several women’s apartments near campus.

Hannah Routon is a junior student at UA who lives off-campus and knows one of the victims whose home was broken into. As a result of the break-ins, Routon and her roommates are planning to be more cautious and keep their doors locked.

“We are going to keep all our doors locked and even at night use your door lock code. And when I get back from class quickly make it a habit to lock my door instead of walking in and not doing anything,” Routon said.

On Saturday, Tuscaloosa police arrested Jim McCoy, 35, and charged him with burglary and trespassing. Investigators said that on two different occasions, McCoy was able to get into homes where doors were not locked. Each female victim woke up to find McCoy, who was on parole on a separate burglary conviction, standing in their bedrooms near their beds. None of the victims were hurt.

Routon said she and her friends are treating this as a wake up call.

“It is so scary, I would have freaked out if I woke up and saw someone staring at me. My friends are talking about it and everyone was freaking out about it and lots of people feel safer knowing he is locked up. But still, there’s other people out there like that so you have to keep that in mind,” she said.

Capt. Brad Mason of the Tuscaloosa Police Department is encouraging students to make sure they are keeping their cars and homes locked up to keep out criminals. He added that hundreds of new students are moving back onto campus this week, so personal safety is important.

“Lock your doors and lock your windows, it’s just a safe thing to do and its what we all should do. It’s sad but that’s the world we live in nowadays you have to be aware of your surroundings and you can’t take for granted that just because you live in a certain area that something won’t happen to you,” Mason said.

McCoy may face more charges as the investigation continues.

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