Burglaries take place on campus over break

Becoming more aware of your surroundings

By Allison Price
On January 18, 2013

  • The Mock Trial League prepares to leave for their regional tournament in Houston the weekend of Feb. 3 to 5. Pam Belcher

Reported residence hall burglaries and vehicle burglaries kept students on edge as they returned to campus from winter break.

During the first week in January, four male suspects were caught on video surveillance at Plaza Verde, according to an e-mail sent to students and faculty. Less than a week later, two car burglaries were reported in the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building parking lot.

"[There are times] where we don't have any burglaries, and other times we might have one or two," University Police Patrol Lieutenant Marc West said. "It just depends."

According to www.collegestudentsafety.com, 80 percent of all crimes reported at colleges and universities across the United States are property crimes.

"It is scary knowing that there are burglaries happening and it makes me realize the importance of putting valuables in a place where only I know where they are," junior Kenia Cruz said.

In order to prevent burglaries, making sure dorm room doors are locked is important, West said.

"Be aware of what is going on at campus and around campus," West said. "If you see anything out of the ordinary, don't hesitate to call and report what you have seen."

According to http://articles.usa-people-search.com, there are simple tasks students need to remember while on campus.

A few key pointers to keep in mind when on campus are to; always walk in a bright lit area, avoid walking alone, do not leave personal information in common areas, and have your keys ready so there is no time spent having to search for them.

"It is easy to forget the minor things you can do in order to stay safe," Cruz said. "I make sure I am alert when walking around campus because you never know what could happen."

Report It, a free, online program available to the public, allows people to insert specific information about property or items they own, West said.

"This website is accessible 24/7," he said. "You can go in and write a description of the item(s), brand, make and even include a picture. The obstacle in many crime cases is being able identify property. Write down the serial number for each product that has a serial number that way it can be positively identified."

The same tips for preventing residence hall burglaries go for vehicle burglaries as well.
"Make sure to lock your car doors and roll up the windows," West said. "If there are any items of value in plain sight, cover them up."

Always be aware of your surroundings and if there is anything suspicious, pick up the phone and have a description of the people of involved, West said.

A $500 reward is available for anyone with information about the suspects involved with the burglaries at Plaza Verde.

If you have information regarding the burglaries or would like more information about precautions you can take, please contact the University Police at (325) 942-2071 or the anonymous tip line at (325) 942-ACTT (2288).

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