Thefts off campus worry students

Butler University students living behind Greek Row have been plagued with a series of thefts this week, ranging from an iPod to a car.

Senior Richie Giannotti, a resident of Berkley Road, said his 1996 Saab 9000 was stolen from behind his house sometime between Sunday and Tuesday.

“The fact that it could have occurred while I was just yards away in my room at night and surrounded by not only people in my house but people I know in other houses on the knoll and on 44th Street is kind of disquieting,” Giannotti said.

Senior Madeline Barnas said she knows that discomforting feeling.

Her Dodge Neon was broken into while it was parked in the driveway behind her 44th Street home. The intruder took an iPod and removed knobs from her CD player.

Barnas said that she wasn’t surprised that something like this happened.

“Not that this was necessarily bound to happen, but I was kind of waiting for it because we live in kind of a bad neighborhood,” she said.

Barnas said she still feels safe in her home, but the ongoing thefts have left her feeling uneasy.

“It just makes you feel violated,” she said.  “This whole thing has made me feel on my toes a little bit more.”

Butler University Police Department (BUPD) Assistant Chief Andrew Ryan said that he doesn’t want students to feel like Butler is an unsafe environment.

“We’re trying to be visible and mobile as much as we can,” he said.  “We’re extending our patrols, not only on the center part of campus but also being visible on 44th Street, on Berkley and on Clarendon Place.”

Ryan said now is a common time for thefts.

“Now that there are more people back on campus, it means that there are more cars and more opportunity for someone who wants to steal something,” Ryan said.

Catching the culprit is harder than it seems.

BUPD’s Sergeant Mike Banner said, “It only takes a second for somebody to open a door or smash out a window and they’ll be gone before anybody even realizes it.”

Ryan said BUPD encourages reports from students and other members of the community if they witness  anything suspicious.

“We really need to rely on the community to keep an eye out for us,” he said. “If you see someone looking in cars, call the police department. Give us a description and at least let us come check it out.”

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