Break-in at Harbor Point affects seven UMass Boston students

Harbor Point on the Bay apartment complex at night.

The morning of Friday, Oct. 8 was a scary and stressful one for the residents of an apartment at Harbor Point on the Bay, as they awoke to many of their belongings missing, their front door broken into and their back door completely open. 

Located across the street from UMass Boston, Harbor Point on the Bay is a residency containing a mixture of active college students, international students and families that share the complex. According to their website, “Harbor Point is a gated community with extremely responsive on-site management for your convenience and security.”

According to the police report issued by Boston Police, the residency housing seven UMass Boston students at Harbor Point Apartments was broken into via the locked front door in the early hours of Friday morning. 

Police stated that residents had the door locked, but that the residents reported the deadlock may have been unlocked. Residents had reported that the locks on the rear sliding door do not always work properly. 

Reported stolen items consisted of expensive laptops, iPads, car keys, credit and bank cards and IDs.

Along with stealing thousands of dollars worth of items, the perpetrators used one of the victim's bank cards after the robbery, where they attended a Speedway, McDonald's, and an Exxon in Roxbury between the times of 5:16 a.m. and 6:15 a.m. 

Sophia Russo is a resident of the apartment that was broken into. She was able to answer some questions and make some comments on the situation. 

Russo was robbed of $3000 worth of items, including her laptop and $400 in cash and card transactions. Russo also has the additional payment of $1500 to get her car lock replaced, as suggested by the police. 

She stated that everyone in the household was asleep during the time of the burglary, and that they hadn’t heard anything on the first floor that caused concern. She also stated that it is hard to hear what's going on downstairs from the higher floors in the apartment where the residents sleep.

When asked how the residents had figured out someone had broken in, Russo said that her roommate, who was awake at 5 a.m. to get ready for work, was downstairs and realized that some of her items were missing and the back door was completely open.

At first, she thought one of her other roommates had placed her items somewhere else in the house. After texting her roommates about her missing items, the rest of the household went downstairs to realize more items had been stolen, and the house had been entered by someone else. 

When asked about the response from Harbor Point Security and Harbor Point Management, Russo was quick to express her disappointment in both departments. 

The security at Harbor Point showed up once Boston Police arrived on the scene at 8 a.m. 

“They were nice to us and helped settle us down but only stayed around the apartment and anxious residents for a short period of time before they left,” said Russo.

After the incident, Russo and her roommates requested extra surveillance around their area of Harbor Point, because they feared that the perpetrators would come back again, and were scared that the perpetrators had access to the residents’ house keys and car keys.

This request was swiftly denied by Harbor Point Security and instead, they offered more vehicle patrolling, which Russo and her roommates have failed to consistently see since the incident. 

Harbor Point Security has failed to follow up further with the affected residents after the incident. 

When contacted to comment on the incident, Harbor Point Management failed to give any comment. When asked about the situation, members of the management team seemed to be unaware of any type of incident that had happened. 

Along with that, Russo stated that they have not received any type of contact or support from Harbor Point Management after the incident. 

This was extremely concerning and disheartening for Russo and the other residents. 

When asked if she still trusts Harbor Point Security and Management, Russo stated it has definitely affected her trust, and that there needs to be improvements made surrounding security to make it safer. She also expressed concern at the lack of video surveillance in the complex, and believes there should be more active security and patrols throughout the late nights of the weekdays. 

Russo shared that the security only becomes more active on weekends when there are parties within the residence. 

Russo believes it would be a good idea for current residents and incoming residents to research the area around Harbor Point, because it is perceived to be a nicer and safer area than it is.

Russo and her roommates are extremely grateful for coming out of this situation safely, and continue to support each other through this difficult time.

Neighbor and Harbor Point resident Tommy Burris, who is also a student at UMass Boston, was asked to comment on the incident and the response from Harbor Point Security and Management. 

Question: How does the situation make you and your roommates feel about being at Harbor Point? 

Answer: It makes us all feel anxious how easy it was for someone to break into these apartments, especially when we are paying a lot for them.

Q: Do you trust the security at Harbor Point?

A: No, I don’t really have a lot of trust in them, they only have lights outside the house, but no security cameras around and it’s hard to get into contact with them.

Q: How do you feel that management has not contacted the residents at all about the incident? 

A: It’s scary, and feels like we aren’t really protected where we live and shows a real lack of structure in the management.

This is a hard time for those affected by the incident. A sister of one of the residents has set up a GoFundMe page for the residents to help pay for the stolen items. To donate, visit: https://gofund.me/83ef118c

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