Weekend string of burglaries

Weekend string of burglaries

Erica Santillo

Five burglaries from unlocked motor vehicles over a three day period were reported to the University Police Department last week.

From Sept. 19-21, various items were stolen from five vehicles in Lots 55 and 10. University Interim Chief Charles Strudel said theft from unlocked cars in a parking lot is common.

“This is a national trend, not just by students,” Strudel said. “Car burglaries are a common thing in the city. We’ve actually had fewer of these by comparison of the surrounding community.”

All of the cars that were broken into were left unlocked or had a window down. Strudel said thieves tend to go into the unlocked cars because it’s easier, it doesn’t make any noise and it doesn’t require tools or effort.

While it is very likely that one person committed all of these thefts because the cars weren’t entered by force, there is little chance of the department catching the thief, Strudel said.

“Burglaries are very seldom solved. We catch these guys usually by accident or by people calling in,” Strudel said.

He said the removal of hanging parking passes has decreased the amount of car burglaries on campus, making car thefts sporadic and uncommon, but there are other ways students can protect themselves from crime.

“Most crimes here are opportunity crimes, so if you lock your door, a person who is kind of desperate probably won’t break into your car,” Strudel said. “You just can’t trust other people you don’t absolutely know.”

A few cameras are in the affected parking lots, according to Strudel, but the technology is older so they were unable to assist in this particular case.

“With all of this technology available, cameras are not a luxury,” UNF sophomore Zach Ducas said. “It’s available, it’s a thing, and they should be used, especially on college campuses.”

UPD is sending out student notices, placing lit signs at the entrance of the university and issuing public service announcements to make students aware of the burglaries.

Email Erica Santillo [email protected]