Missing Towers and UPN master key places hundreds of residents at risk

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A master key that opens doors to every apartment and dorm room in University Park North (UPN) and the Towers at Centennial Square is missing after a theft, SF State officials announced Monday.

The University Park North contains at least 697 unfurnished apartments and additional furnished apartments. The Towers at Centennial Square houses 588 students, according to the Jeanne Clery Report, a federally mandated crime log.

The University has significantly increased University Police patrols and hired outside private security, clothed in yellow jackets, to protect residents and campus property. Apartments in affected buildings will also be rekeyed, said Joseph Greenwell, dean of students.

University employee, Andrew Cobo-Mier, changes the lock on a vacant apartment in University Park North on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The lock change is the first of over 1,300 that will be performed in the next few days in response to a stolen master key. Photo by Dariel Medina / Xpress.

University employee, Andrew Cobo-Mier, changes the lock on a vacant apartment in University Park North on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The lock change is the first of over 1,300 that will be performed in the next few days in response to a stolen master key. Photo by Dariel Medina / Xpress.

Residents of UPN and the Towers at Centennial Square found fliers taped to their doors Monday night describing the loss of the master key due to a break-in. The flier announced an 8:30 p.m. community meeting to inform residents; a mass email was also sent.

“I feel there should be more security here because it’s a college campus,” Michaela Booker said. The 22-year-old UPN resident said she lost $3,000 when her apartment was broken into last Saturday night in an unrelated event.

SF State University Housing manages UPN, the apartment buildings located along Buckingham Way, between the 19th Avenue and Winston Drive.

The apartment complex houses faculty, staff, alumni and students alongside residents with no college affiliation in tower and garden units. The tower units contain nine floors with housing units and a shared entrance lobby, while the garden units have open street access.

Another UPN resident, 20-year-old nursing major Harleen Dhillon said she feels safer than in her old home in the Daly City Westlake apartments.

“What are the chances that someone will come to my apartment,” said Dhillon. “There are so many apartments.”

Also affected are the Towers at Centennial Square, an on-campus housing complex for first-time freshmen and students 19 and younger.

The 15-story building connects to the Science and Technology Theme Community, also known as the Tower Jr. Suites or STTC, which houses another 104 students.

Towers at Cenntennial Square resident, freshman anthropology major Jose Ramon Leon said residents signed a sheet recording their name, student ID number and address during the mandatory community meeting.

“It is making me look behind my back at all times,” Leon said. “I have all my valuables locked up in my apartment.”

Questions concerning how the master key was stolen, whose responsibility it was to keep it safe and the dollar figure associated with the key’s loss weren’t answered by the University in time for publication.

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