Tips from LiveSafe App Lead to Arrest

Durham man arrested after employees provide tips through new safety app

With the help of Duke employees using the free LiveSafe mobile safety app, Duke Police officers last week arrested a man in connection with thefts at the Seeley G. Mudd Building.

Durham resident Montarro Warren, 33, was arrested Oct. 31 after three Duke employees used the “Submit Tips” function on the app to alert police after spotting a suspicious man on the third floor of the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education.

"Duke is safer when we all work together,” said John Dailey, chief of Duke Police. “LiveSafe is a great tool because it enables the broader community to be the eyes and ears for our campus and identify and report potential safety concerns."

According to Duke police, Warren, who has previously been arrested on campus on theft charges, had a warrant issued for his arrest on Oct. 21 after police investigated the theft of a jacket and camera in the Mudd Building. Security cameras captured a photo of a man during the recent thefts, which was shared with employees in the building.

At 10:04 a.m. Oct. 31, an employee saw the man on the third floor of the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education and opened the LiveSafe app to alert Duke Police. Two colleagues did the same.

“I submitted what direction he went in and what he was wearing and within a few minutes, police said people were on the way,” said one of the employees who used the app to notify police.

Soon after, police officers were dispatched and found Warren walking toward Parking Garage I. Warren is charged with breaking and entering, theft and trespassing. He was taken to Durham County Jail and released on bond.

The employees who submitted the tips to Duke Police downloaded the LiveSafe app over the summer after Eric Hester, a Duke Police community service officer, spoke to their department on a variety of safety topics, including mobile app.

“Everybody has their cellphone with them, so LiveSafe is a good tool because all you have to do is pull up the app,” said the employee who submitted one of the tips that led to the arrest. “It was a good feeling and very reassuring how quickly Duke Police responded.”

Duke is one of 117 colleges and universities nationwide that provide the LiveSafe app to its community members. Along with Duke, there are currently 12 institutions in North Carolina that have LiveSafe, five of which have launched since Duke first offered it in March: UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Pembroke, North Carolina A&T, East Carolina University and Fayetteville State University.

“LiveSafe is another advancement in our ongoing efforts to create and sustain a safe learning and working environment for our entire community,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and emergency coordinator. “It enables students, staff and faculty to report concerns any time, anywhere, to the appropriate authorities.”

LiveSafe is available for download through Apple and Android app stores.

For more information, visit the DukeALERT website.