On Friday, Nov. 25, 22-year-old Rowan alum Elizabeth Jasek posted a TikTok showing an unknown man in her off-campus home in Glassboro on Thanksgiving morning. The video was taken with a camera that Jasek set up in her room. It showed the man going through her personal belongings and stealing some items. Nobody residing in the house was home at the time of the incident.
According to the Glassboro Police Department’s News Release on Nov. 30, “An off-duty Glassboro officer was able to identify the male, Kyle Jones, after still photos from the hidden camera footage were distributed to officers for identification purposes.”
After Jones, 24, turned himself into police on Nov. 30, he was charged with burglary, trespassing and theft. He was held in Salem County jail before his release on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Because of how many people saw Jasek’s TikTok post and Facebook post regarding the incident, people in the community quickly recognized Kyle Jones. He is a Glassboro resident and worked at Rowan University in food service. According to Jasek, Jones worked for the same company that Jasek did when she was an undergraduate.
“My sister, she was the one that pointed me in the direction like, ‘Elizabeth, post this everywhere.’ She said that the power social media has is incredible, I think we can get somewhere,” Jasek said.
The post currently has over 70K views and over 4K likes.
“I was a little hesitant because, you know, social media already has my entire identity out there. I’m like, ‘do I want them also knowing my home invasion?’” Jasek said. “I was a little worried, but it did work in my favor because, like you saw, I posted the Tiktok and I had posted a Facebook post and within two days it, I would say, has blown up because I actually had people reaching out to me being like, ‘I know who this is.’”
Jasek purchased and installed the camera in her room after she suspected that someone had broken in on previous occasions. Jasek saw some items out of place, and her blinds and windows were tampered with.
On camera, Jones was seen going through her private items and belongings, ultimately invading her room.
“I think the worst part is him stopping and staring at me in the photo. My privacy was just completely violated. I have my names on some mugs and everything. So like, he knew me. And I knew nothing of him, which is the frightening part, you know?” said Jasek.
According to Jasek, who attended his court hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Jones was released.
“He’s not being detained in jail until his trial. So, he’s being released with pretrial monitoring on level three,” said Jasek.
This monitoring will include rules such as a curfew and a weekly meeting with an assigned person. He is also not allowed to contact any of the victims in any way. He will go through this monitoring until his trial, which will take place on Jan. 26.
As students go home for break, this incident serves as a reminder to be careful and lock your doors and windows when you are out of town.
For students that may be worried about their off-campus residence while they are away this winter, the Glassboro Police Department suggests that students keep their property well-lit, take any valuables with them and to alert neighbors and law enforcement that they will not be in the area. Glassboro Police also have a property check service that is available to anyone residing off-campus.
“We have a list, it is a form that you fill out for property checks. So, if we know that you are going away and you’re not going to be home, we can add you to that list and conduct checks of your property,” said Glassboro Police Lieutenant Mindy Knight.
Glassboro residents can be added to this list by calling the police department’s dispatch at (856)-881-1500.
Reed Layton, the senior director of public safety at Rowan University, encourages students to be aware of their surroundings when they are not on campus.
“When you are off campus, know your whereabouts all the time, pay attention to what you’re doing and try to be with a group,” Layton said.
Layton also encourages students to reach out to law enforcement with any safety concerns.
“Always, do not be afraid to call the police department wherever you are at. Whether it’s off campus, the Rowan Police or the Glassboro Police,” said Layton.
Students can find safety tips from Rowan Public Safety in the daily Rowan Announcer emails and to learn more about ways that they can keep themselves safe while they are away at school.
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