Amidst a recent increase of vehicle crimes on campus, students at Cal Poly Pomona are troubled by the fact that several parking lots are not monitored by security cameras.
CPP students are left without recourse with their insurance company due to the lack of security cameras, even though back in 2021, the university said they were planning to install more cameras in parking lots.
According to CPP crime logs, there were 79 police reports filed between Aug. 22 through Nov. 1, of which,29% were incidents that occurred in parking lots or parking structures The Poly Post found.
“Recently, there was something that happened in one of the parking structures that I parked in,” said Natalie Reyes, psychology student. “So that was a little nerve-wracking.”
Reyes referred to an incident of grand theft from a vehicle at Parking Structure 2, which was reported on Sept. 19.
Vehicle crimes such as car theft, burglary, vandalism and hit and runs are the most common type of reports filed, with 39% being vehicle related.
Environmental biology major Rebeca Josephy said she feels fine parking her car in the lots, only to a certain extent.
“I’ve seen a couple of people talk about getting hit in some of the lots like Lot J,” said Josephy. “That’s the only thing that concerns me.”
Lot J is not monitored by security cameras.
The parking lots most susceptible to crime are the B and Q lot of which 13% of police reports were filed for incidents in the B Lot, while 8% occurred in the Q Lot.
There are no security cameras in both B and Q lots.
CPP Parking and Transportation services declined to comment stating in an email, “this is something that we would not be able to assist.”
Students such as Josephy are concerned about the lack of cameras, not just for their vehicles, but for their own safety.
“Just for people’s safety, like walking to and from the car, especially at night,” said Josephy. “Security cameras are also a good way for people to keep track of those hit and runs that are happening, keep videos of the security footage.”
Josephy said adding security cameras may not stop incidents completely, but they could provide more of a general sense of safety for students.
In April of 2021, the IT departments and University Police Department planned
to install more security cameras in parking lots. It is not known whether this plan moved forward, as there are still several lots on campus that lack cameras.
The M Lot, which is a narrow, one-way parking lot, has no cameras, along with Lots P, E and N (overflow lot). Lot K is also not surveilled, but there is a camera outside Parking Structure 2, adjacent to it.
CPP crime logs also show that 25% of incidents occurred at the University Village. CPP alum Nezam Asgharnia, said his car’s bumper was hit at the Village parking lot on Sept. 9, 2019, in front of a security camera.
While the security cameras at the Village are operated under a separate entity apart from UPD, officers respond to incidents and can check camera footage.
Even if a crime occurs where cameras are present, this vital footage may be unobtainable for students like Asgharnia.
“When I filed a police report, I was told the campus police and the officer that was assigned to my case would review the footage,” said Asgharnia. “I didn’t receive any footage, but per what I was told, it would have been reviewed by campus police.”
After numerous calls, Asgharnia never received feedback about the footage from the UPD or heard anything back about his case, not even to notify him the case was closed.
For students dealing with a hit and run or any other car accident where they’re not at fault, security camera footage can be crucial for insurance purposes.
According to Asgharnia, repair costs can be hefty for a college student.
“I decided to not get it repaired because the insurance did not cover it with my coverage at the time. It would’ve costed $795 to replace the bumper,” said Asgharnia.
Parking structure 2, located next to International Polytechnic High, has seven cameras on the roof and at least eight on each lower floor. The cameras are spaced around 18 parking spaces apart from each other, totaling over 30.
Parking structure 1, located next to the University Police Station, has three cameras on the roof floor and one at both exits. All parking structures should be monitored for the campus community to feel safer, in case something was to happen, said Reyes.