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Coca-Cola Impostor Gains Dorm Access

By Zareena Hussain
Associate news editor

A person wearing a Coca-Cola uniform and possessing a full set of vending machine keys, suspected to be impersonating a Coca-Cola employee, entered Burton-Conner House Friday morning, said Daniel P. Conceison, the operations manager for Night Watch.

The individual is believed to have been stealing $500 per day from area vending machines, Conceison said.

Shortly after the first individual gained access to the dormitory, another person in company uniform requested entrance into Burton-Connor. The night watchman on duty found this strange and questioned the second individual.

The second person was a legitimate Coke employee. "Honestly, if I was in that situation I might not have asked him for an ID," Conceison said.

The individual is a 40-year-old, 5-foot-8-inch white male with a stocky build.

"It's unfortunate that someone's so sophisticated. It's almost like you have to challenge everyone," said Campus Police Captain John E. Driscoll.

Impostor arrested elsewhere

"Another person has been apprehended by another police department" for such impersonation in nearby areas, Driscoll said.

Campus Police are currently working with other police departments to determine if this particular individual is the same one that has been targeting vending machines on campus, Driscoll said.

While vending machines have been broken into in the past, such a high-level of sophistication is new to the campus.

"In the past, machines have been vandalized or broken into; this is the first time a person who's impersonating Coke personnel" is suspected to have broken into the machines, Driscoll said.

"What bothers me more is that they got into a residential building, not that they ripped off a Coke machine," Conceison said.

Dormitory security questioned

This incident has shed light upon the greater issue of security in the dormitories. The suspected Coca-Cola serviceman impostor entered Burton-Conner without being asked for identification.

"I issued a reminder to all of the Night Watch staff to familiarize themselves with the policy of checking all non-residents identification who enter or attempt to enter the buildings while we are here," Conceison said.

"If someone is sophisticated enough to have a uniform, they are probably sophisticated enough to have an ID," Driscoll said.

The ultimate priority, however, is keeping the dormitories free of unauthorized people. "I'm more concerned with student safety than with vending machine larceny," Conceison said.