Justin Strickland

By Kim Manahan (Whetstone Staff Writer)

Four Wesley football players were arrested and suspended for burglarizing dorm rooms over Thanksgiving break as the team prepared to play in the quarterfinals of the NCAA division III playoffs.

Travis Douglas, 21, Deandre Fowlkes, 20, Justin Strickland, 21, and Bilal Bakr, 19 were arrested Tuesday and charged with burglary, conspiracy and theft.

Three rooms in Malmberg Hall, and one in Carpenter Hall, had electronic equipment and video game systems taken from them, said Walter Beaupre, director of safety and security.

“On behalf of the athletic department, we are saddened by this information and confident in the team’s ability to overcome adversity together,” said head football coach Mike Drass.

Deandre Fowlkes

Students who returned to campus Nov. 28 reported that their dorm rooms had been burglarized, Dover Police said.

Freshman Mark Mattern, whose room was broken into, lives across the hall from Fowlkes on the first floor of Carpenter.

When Mattern saw Fowlkes entering his own dorm Monday, he “opened the dorm door only a little,” he said. “He was acting suspicious.”

Mattern, and his roommate Taylor Jackson had a television, valued at $200, Play Station 3 games valued at $300, and an iHome valued at $100 taken from their room.

The items have not yet been recovered.

Mattern’s Sony headphones, valued at $80, were also stolen.

“It seemed like forced entry,” Mattern said. “The side thing on the door was loose.”

Mattern’s television hadn’t been stolen but it was moved like they were thinking about it, he said.

Travis Douglas

“My golf bag was moved out from under the bed too,” Mattern said.

Video surveillance and ID card access were used to help identify the students, Beaupre said.

Wesley security assisted Dover Police in the investigation, which led to all four students being arrested, police said.

The football players remained on campus over Thanksgiving break. Like all athletes, they were able to stay for free.

Douglas, a tight end, made College Corner’s 2010 athletics’ list.

All were released on $18,000 unsecured bonds.

Mattern received a letter telling him that the four students had been released from jail.

Bilal Bakr

Bilal Bakr

He said he will probably not press charges.

“I just want my stuff back,” Mattern said.

Contributions by

Melissa Boyd and Mark Mattern