3 students encounter intruder in Foster apartment

Scott Gordon

An Evanston man was arrested early Friday and charged with breaking into an apartment where two Northwestern students live.

Mark Gilbert Locke, 36, of the 2000 block of Sherman Avenue was charged with misdemeanor residential burglary.

According to a report filed at Evanston Police Department, an intruder broke down the rear door to the apartment on the 800 block of Foster Street and entered while one of the students was sleeping inside.

Kathleen Ho, a Weinberg junior, told police she was awakened by a loud noise just before 12:30 a.m. Friday, the EPD report stated. As she became more alert, she saw a man standing in her doorway. She had left the door open a few inches when she went to sleep.

“I just saw a big, large, looming figure that was unfamiliar to me,” Ho told The Daily. “I guess he was really disturbed that someone was here.”

About the same time, Ho’s roommate, Serena Roschman, came in through the apartment’s east door with a friend and saw the intruder, who said something about “checking to see if everyone was all right,” the report stated.

Roschman, a Weinberg senior, called 911 while the man was still in the apartment. Ho said Roschman’s friend got the man to go out on the porch steps.

The man started to leave the area as officers arrived, the report stated.

According to the report, Locke told the officers he was standing outside the back door of his own home and smoking a cigarette when he saw two men kick in the door and run off. He said he went into the apartment to check on the residents.

But Ho, Roschman and Roschman’s friend identified Locke as the man they saw break into the apartment, the report stated. They said they did not know Locke and had not given him permission to be in their apartment.

Because Ho reported that she saw Locke inside so soon after hearing the break-in, police questioned the authenticity of Locke’s explanation, according to the report.

The rear door of the apartment had been locked with deadbolts before the break-in, the report stated. It had been broken open, and the door frame and vertical moulding were pulled loose.

Officers at the scene also reported that two of the apartment’s window screens had been cut.

Locke is scheduled to appear Nov. 19 at Circuit Court in Skokie.