A 21-year-old Elkhart, Indiana, resident has been arrested on a dozen counts of alleged theft, burglary and other related charges, according to court documents.
Officers from the Purdue University Police Department spoke with several residents at the apartment complex Aspire at Discovery Park between October 2019 and January of this year who reported various burglaries and thefts from their apartments. The items stolen range from a wallet, credit and debit cards, computers, textbook, two Nintendo Switches, car keys, electronic accessories, a purse, a customized handgun and other assorted items, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Using security-camera footage from Aspire, police saw a man in the apartment building near one of the apartments that had been burglarized. As one stolen credit card had been used to order Jimmy John's delivery to an Aspire apartment, police detectives identified the man delivered to as Oliver Bwalya through further surveillance footage at Aspire.
Police then used the phone number Bwalya used to order sandwiches to obtain cellular phone records, per the affidavit, and found messages indicating the man "had Nintendo Switches for sale as well as at least one laptop computer shortly after the burglaries occurred."
Officers spoke with Bwalya on Jan. 29, who reportedly said he frequently visited the Greater Lafayette area and burglarized Aspire apartments with a group of friends. He and his friends wore ear-pieces, he said in court documents, to communicate with one another while stealing. Bwalya also said they would sell the stolen items. In describing the theft of a handgun from a parked car around campus, Bwalya allegedly pulled up a video on his phone of himself holding the gun he had stolen.
After searching Bwalya's vehicle with his permission, officers found some stolen items there, including the handgun, credit card and a laptop.
Bwalya is charged with six counts of burglary; three charges of theft; one charge of theft of a handgun; one charge of fraud; and one charge of corrupt business influence. He is held with a bond of $250,000 surety and $25,000 cash.