Students ‘terrified’ after a delivery man targeting college women broke into Quinnipiac off-campus housing

Chatwan Mongkol, News Editor

Quinnipiac University students said they feel less safe after police reported two attempted burglaries by the same DoorDash driver targeting college women on the night of Nov. 16, at two off-campus houses.

Hamden Police arrested Adiel Viana-Ribeiro, 24, after he allegedly broke into a house and attempted to forcibly break a window at another house. (Photo contributed by Hamden Police Department)

Sara Cosseboom, a second-year social work graduate student, said she was terrified after hearing about the attempted burglaries as a commuter student herself.

“I live off campus, and it’s always my biggest fear, especially with all the recent crime in Hamden,” Cosseboom said. “I definitely don’t plan on using DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. anymore because of this. It’s not something I ever thought about so now it’s something I’m aware of now.”

The suspect, who was taken in custody following a police pursuit, was identified as 24-year-old Adiel Viana-Ribeiro of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect targeted houses where he delivered to college-aged women, according to Hamden Police.

WTNH reported that DoorDash has already removed Viana-Ribeiro as a driver for its platform.

Hamden Police responded to two reports of attempted residential burglary from students on Kimberly Avenue and Westwoods Road at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

The alleged victim at the house on Westwoods Road reported that the suspect entered when she was asleep and stood at the foot of her bed before fleeing once she started to yell. Another alleged victim from Kimberly Avenue reported that the suspect attempted to break a window but did not enter before he escaped the scene on foot.

It saddens me to hear that there is yet another incident at an off-campus house. I hope that whoever lived in the house is OK, that’s a traumatic experience.”

— Lauren Atkinson, senior computer science major

Another female student living off campus, senior computer science major Lauren Atkinson said her sense of security changed after learning of the incidents.

“This could have been me,” Atkinson said. “It saddens me to hear that there is yet another incident at an off-campus house. I hope that whoever lived in the house is OK, that’s a traumatic experience.”

Atkinson questioned if current patrolling from Hamden Police and Quinnipiac Public Safety is enough to prevent incidents like these. She said that delivery and rideshare app-based companies should run thorough background checks and implement psychological evaluations on its drivers.

Quinnipiac Public Safety sent an email Wednesday night to the university community of what happened — only for the incident at Kimberly Avenue — shortly before Hamden Police issued a press release. 

Even though Cosseboom thought Quinnipiac did well informing its students, she said the university should have included the full details of the two incidents in its announcement.

“I do wish we got more information that it was actually two houses,” Cosseboom said. “Most students don’t read external sources so they think it was minor from (only reading) the email we got.”

 

Chief of Public Safety Tony Reyes told The Chronicle in an email statement that the house on Westwoods Road is not affiliated with the university and that the information of that incident was not available to him when he sent out the email.

“The students who live in the house on West Woods did not notify Public Safety about the intruder, and Hamden Police had not shared details of the break in on West Woods,” Reyes said. “The Hamden Police Department is best positioned to provide any details about the suspect, including his work in food delivery, as it’s the lead investigatory agency on this with the Connecticut State Police.”

Atkinson said Public Safety did “a good job,” but she wished it looped students in earlier.

“I understand that they want to make sure that we are receiving accurate and concise information but at least a preliminary report should have been given to us,” Atkinson said.

Viana-Ribeiro was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal burglary attempt, second-degree criminal mischief, sixth-degree larceny, engaging police in pursuit and reckless driving. He was held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Meriden Superior Court Dec. 29.