Number of vehicle thefts and burglaries increases

There has been fluctuation in thefts over the past week. Students should ensure that they are locking up their valuables or taking them with them when they leave. Photo Illustration by Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Julia Vergara | Staff Writer

Baylor sent out a safety notification on Thursday informing the community that there has been an increase in vehicle thefts, burglary of motor vehicles and residential burglaries. While there has been a significant increase in these crimes over the last week, the numbers are on par with last month and last year.

According to the Baylor Department of Public Safety crime logs, from Sept. 18 to Sept. 25 there were 16 cases of theft, eight cases of motor vehicle burglaries and three cases of stolen vehicles.

The week before, from Sept. 11 to Sept. 18, there were only eight cases of theft, zero cases of motor vehicle burglaries and one case of a stolen vehicle.

However, when compared to the month prior, the crime numbers fall into the same range. From Sept. 1 to Sept. 25, there have been 30 cases of theft, 13 of motor vehicle burglaries and three of stolen vehicles. In August, there were 34 cases of theft, six of motor vehicle burglaries and seven stolen vehicle cases. The numbers from last year in September 2016 are about the same.

The crime log documents all the crimes that occur on campus and immediately adjacent to campus, Baylor said in an email. Out of the theft cases from this September, 21 of them occurred on campus, only two of the motor vehicle burglaries occurred on campus and none of the stolen vehicle cases occurred on campus. The majority of the motor vehicle burglary and stolen vehicle incidents happened off campus.

Prosper sophomore Michael Pendley said his house was broken into in February while he and his roommates were sleeping. The suspects took guns and Pendley’s car.

“They broke in early Sunday morning,” Pendley said. “The suspects were caught one week later when my car was spotted on the street while they were in another house robbery.”

Calabasas, Calif., senior Laura Sullivan said that she had her purse stolen out of her car while it was parked in her driveway. She said that there was a device found on the bottom of her car that was able to unlock her car without damaging it.

Coppell sophomore Summer Maccubbin has also experienced vehicle theft issues. However, instead of taking her purse or wallet, the suspect stole both of the side view mirrors off of her car. She called Waco PD to see if they could do anything about it and they tested the vehicle for fingerprints, but they said that the thief was wearing gloves, Maccubbin said.

“A new sideview mirror costs like $400 to replace,” Maccubbin said. “But at least they didn’t take anything.”

The Baylor Police Department (BUPD) offered crime prevention suggestions in the safety notification.

To prevent against vehicle thefts, BUPD said not to leave keys in a vehicle, always lock vehicles and place mopeds in a secure place such as a garage or backyard.

To prevent against motor vehicle burglaries, BUPD said to always lock vehicles and close windows and place valuable items in the trunk or take them with you.

To avoid residential burglaries, one should always lock their doors and windows, close blinds or curtains and leave a light or other electronics on to give the appearance that someone is home. Students should not post on social media when they will be absent from their residence for an extended amount of time, BUPD said.

If an emergency situation or suspicious activity occurs, immediately call BUPD at 254-710-2222 or 911, Baylor said in the email.

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