Vehicle break-ins on campus worry students

Graphic by Kyler Naylor

A string of vehicle break-ins last week has students wondering if locking their car doors is enough.

Nine break-ins took place in four days last week, according to a BUPD police report.

Of the 17 thefts this month, eight took place in a single day.

Comparatively, there were nine total thefts in November last year, one of which was a vehicle theft.

The chain of break-ins started Tuesday night, and was believed to be the work of three or four individuals. BUPD took one person into custody on Thursday.

“These catches typically don’t happen because these guys are very quick in what they do,” Police Chief Ben Hunter said. “I’m very, very happy my staff stepped up and caught the guy. It’s a good story.”

Some students said they aren’t as comfortable having their cars on campus after the thefts.

“The break-in really irritated me and made me feel a little less safe on campus, especially since this problem has happened several times lately,” said sophomore exploratory business major Michael Gorin, whose car was broken into in the Phi Delta Theta parking lot.

Gorin said he doesn’t expect BUPD to catch the culprits.

“I know BUPD is doing all they can,” Gorin said, “But considering it’s not really possible to have cameras all over campus I don’t expect them to really be able to successfully catch most criminals who pull stunts like this.”

In terms of utilizing resources, Hunter said BUPD is doing all it can to prevent future thefts, including altering patrols, bringing in officers on overtime and setting up posts in and near parking lots.

“You can’t predict the future,” Hunter said. “We continue to do proactive measures. We continue to respond. I don’t like to have to respond, I’d rather head it off. You just never know what you’re heading off other than being out there and being visible.”

In order to be as proactive against theft and break-ins as possible, Hunter offered some advice.

“Don’t leave things open in your vehicle,” Hunter said.

“Make sure that you write down your serial numbers and have them readily available. Things that like that will assist us if there is larceny from a vehicle.”

Hunter stressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings and participating in community policing.

“If you see someone going through a parking lot looking into vehicles, you should be calling us,” he said. “This is where people need to continue to practice these crime watch tips.”

Hunter said that he wants to make sure people don’t become targets of crime, and that the best way to deter theft is to give the burglar a lack of cause.

“We’re in a safe community, we’re in a safe neighborhood,” Hunter said. “But we’re also the twelve largest city in the nation, so those are things you have to balance.”


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