DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -Three weeks before students return for classes, the University of New Hampshire is posting warnings about a man who has been removing or cutting off the clothes of sleeping women.

The notices will be posted on campus and in downtown apartments, businesses, restaurants and bars, UNH officials said.

It recommends residents lock their doors, keep porch lights on all night and travel in groups and in well-lit places, and asks people to call police if they see suspicious behavior.

“We’re trying to get them in as many places as we can to make them visible to returning students,” said Mark Rubinstein, vice president for student and academic services. He said the university has received a number of calls from concerned students and parents wanting to know about the crimes.

“This is simply another effort to try to help people become aware of what’s going on around here,” Rubinstein said.

Police are looking for a man they describe as white, tall and skinny in seven cases in which current or former students had their clothing removed while they slept. There have been no forcible break-ins.

The incidents started June 24. The most recent occurred Wednesday when two women at an off-campus apartment had their clothing cut or removed early in the morning.

A task force, including state, county and local police agencies, was formed last week to speed the investigation.

For students on campus, safety suggestions include using the university’s student chaperone system, which provides student guides to anyone concerned about walking alone at night. Students also are advised to use the 80 blue light emergency phones that are located throughout the campus.

“People here seem to believe in their utter safety,” Rubinstein said. “And the reality is that there is no place that is absolutely safe. We’re trying to remind people that these things can happen anywhere, that it is not necessarily someone else’s problem.”

AP-ES-08-12-03 1045EDT



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