The map pinpoints locations along the Waco area where crimes were reported to the Baylor Police Department. The information gathered is according to the Campus Crime and Fire Log. Graphic by Didi Martinez | Digital Managing Editor
By Didi Martinez | Digital Managing Editor and Taylor Wolf | Contributor
Since Jan. 1, the Baylor Police Department has received more than 314 crime reports, according to the university’s Campus Crime and Fire Log.
The log on the Baylor Department of Public Safety’s website details crimes or alleged crimes and fire incidents occurring within the police department’s jurisdiction. This is in compliance with the Clery Act, which regulates campus crime policy.
Based on analysis and mapping of the Campus Crime and Fire Log, the Lariat has found the five most common crimes reported this semester were as follows:
1. Criminal Mischief
2. Burglary of Motor Vehicle
3. Alcohol — Public Intoxication
5. Criminal Trespass of Property
The data collected from the log was compiled regardless of whether the report’s status had changed or was referred to another department or agency.
A heat map generated from the log’s data shows various “crime hot spots” reported to the Baylor University Police Department. The location with the most alleged criminal activity is along Dutton Avenue and S. Fifth Street. Baylor Chief of Police Brad Wigtil said he thinks this is due to a mixture of reports the department receives regarding alcohol, criminal mischief and bike theft around Penland Residence Hall.
Tulsa, Okla., sophomore Tyler Traino said he locked his bike to a Penland Residence Hall rack located at this “crime hot spot” during spring break and came back to find both of his wheels missing. Traino said he noticed the bike next to his was missing wheels as well. When a Baylor police officer went to meet with Traino over the incident, he said the officer talked about a decrease in recovering stolen bike parts. Traino said that the officer told him that while bikes may be hard to find, recovering stolen parts such as tires is harder because they are hard to locate and can be sold on classified advertisement websites such as Craigslist.
“The hard part with wheels tracking is they’re not serialized with a number, so you can’t really get them back as easily because it’s hard to say that these were the exact ones that were on that bike,” Traino said.
Traino said he knew of at least three other Penland residents with either stolen bikes or stolen wheels.
Wigtil said property crimes like theft are a problem on campus because they have a “lower solvability” due to reports often having “less identifying information” that could lead to arrests.
“It gets frustrating for us because if a bicycle is not registered, and it doesn’t happen often, but a couple of cases a year, we’ll catch the person stealing the bike off one of our bike racks or some place else on campus,” Wigtil said. “To file charges on that person, we have to have a complaint registered through Parking and Transportation Services.”
Wigtil said this makes the bike recovery process harder because the department needs an owner to come forward to associate with the theft and have them decide whether to press charges.
“But so many times nobody comes forward,” Wigtil said.
Nashville, Tenn., sophomore Anna Kate Rader said she left her moped parked in the intramural fields parking lot for two nights over the weekend, but said that when she came to pick it up, it was gone.
“I left it at the fields because it felt safe. It’s in a Baylor parking lot,” Rader said. “The gates close at night and are locked. So, I left it there Friday around midnight, and I came back for it on Sunday, and it was missing, and my first thought was that it had been towed by Baylor Parking Services.”
After speaking with Baylor Parking and Transportation, she filed an official report with the police department. Rader was assigned a case investigator who told her that while there are no cameras in the parking lot, the department would try to track it down using other cameras around campus.
Rader said she was informed that the Baylor police would put her information into a national registry for stolen vehicles. She said she has since received a few updates, but not anything “hopeful.”
The diagram shows the most reported crimes in the Campus Crime and Fire Log. Dot size is determined by crime frequency.
Graphic by Didi Martinez | Digital Managing Editor
Another trend confirmed by Wigtil was the prominence of alcohol-related reports. These include instances of public intoxication, minor in consumption and minor in possession.
“We’ll get reports from the residence hall staff, and we’ll go to investigate that situation and respond to that situation and typically we would write a citation,” Wigtil said, “but minor consuming is what we deal with a lot.”
While minor in consumption and minor in possession reports are most often students, Wigtil said that cases of public intoxication are a mixture of students and non-students. Wigtil said this is due to the department’s patrol response area.
“So if you can think about where Eighth and Ninth Street is where Baylor’s buildings kind of stop, we patrol between 35 and La Salle Street all the way to 17th Street,” Wigtil said. “So we run into public intoxicated folks out there who aren’t Baylor students because a lot of people are out in that area.”
Baylor University Police Department has primary jurisdiction over all properties owned and under the control of Baylor, but its jurisdiction extends throughout McLennan County, according to the department’s website. Wigtil said there is a separation between the Baylor and Waco police departments, but that they sometimes work together on cases involving students or within close proximity.
“Sometimes there will be circumstances where they ask our assistance on those cases, but we never take them over,” Wigtil said.