By Greg Toumassian
Auto thefts are still a prevalent issue on campus, according to
a recent University Police Crime Bulletin, which reported numerous
instances of burglary from parked vehicles in the past weeks.
Three incidents of theft occurred in Lot B over the span of one
day on March 8 and various accounts of vehicle break-ins have been
documented in the University Police weekly incident log since the
beginning of the year.
Cal Poly Police Officer Enrico Cortez said recent thefts do not
follow any pattern or occur in any one place.
“These types of incidents come in cycles ” we have peak cycles
and then we won’t have any for a long time,” said Cortez. “These
can occur anywhere on campus and for some reason it was [lot] B
that was focused on this past spring quarter, but we’ve had
incidents in the past that have happened anywhere on campus.”
Auto theft has remained a constant problem on campus according
to the University Police Annual Security Report for 2009, in which
there were 91 incidents of vehicle theft during 2006-08.
Efforts made by University Police to combat the issue include
dispatching officers to areas with reported suspicious activities,
determining areas and times that are susceptible to vehicle break
in and other forms of campus patrol.
A relationship with Mt. San Antonio College’s Public Safety
Department has aided in efforts to reduce the problem.
Jeff Parker, director of public safety at Mt. San Antonio
College, said the two-way radio communication with Cal Poly has
helped to ensure a higher degree of security and safety.
“Both departments, because we share a common border, we share a
common mission and that is to ensure that our students staff and
faculty remain safe, constantly and everybody goes homes safely,”
said Parker. “I think both campuses do a very good job.”
Rick Hermansen, a first-year music industry student, said it is
discomforting to learn about the recent vehicle burglaries.
“It’s startling to hear that there have been so many thefts,”
said Hermansen. “Security tried to reassure the freshmen that
security was top notch and that they would be patrolling constantly
to make sure that nothing went on.”
While Cortez was unwilling to speak specifically on tactics of
University Police, he said it is important to remain vigilant.
“You never know who is breaking into the cars,” said Cortez.
“I’m not saying to distrust everybody, but be careful.”
Visible high price items such as high end stereo systems, GPS
devices and iPods have been targeted by thieves.
Cortez said it is important to hide valuable items inside of a
car and avoid drawing attention to valuables that may be present,
for example by playing an expensive stereo system loudly.
“One of the biggest keys is prevention; don’t make yourself an
easy target,” said Cortez.
“If somebody wants to break in your car and take particular
things, they will.”
It is suggested students keep documentation of serial numbers
and pin codes that are associated with popular theft items such as
laptops and GPS units. It is also recommended that students engrave
some type of identification on the units of value.
Reach Greg Toumassian at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Rosales/Poly Post
Local police departments combat auto burglaries
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