Baylor responds to campus-adjacent motor vehicle burglaries

A safety notification was sent out to students on Monday after multiple motor vehicle burglaries were reported. 14 incidents have been reported since Feb. 11. Photo courtesy of Waco Police Department.

A safety notification was sent out to Baylor students on Monday afternoon after numerous motor vehicle burglaries were reported to the Waco Police Department at locations adjacent to the Baylor campus.

According to Baylor’s crime log, 14 offenses specified as motor vehicle burglary have been reported since Feb. 11, six reported on Feb. 16 alone. The burglaries have occurred on numerous streets located nearby Baylor’s campus: 8th Street, Speight Avenue, 11th Street, James Avenue, Wood Avenue, 12th Street, 5th Street, Bagby Avenue and 14th Street. The burglaries took place on Feb. 11, Feb. 13, Feb. 14 and Feb. 16. and are being handled by the Waco Police Department.

Baylor alerted students about the incidents in a safety notification over email and provided recommendations for ways to keep vehicles and belongings safe.

“Without exception, always lock the vehicle and close the windows, regardless of the duration of your anticipated stay at any location,” the notification read. “Leave nothing of value in the passenger compartment. Place valuable items in your trunk. If you do not have a trunk, take your valuables with you.”

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department said that incidents involving motor vehicle burglary around Baylor’s campus aren’t unusual and typically result from belongings being left in cars.

“Unfortunately, these types of theft are not uncommon in that area,” Swanton said. “We strongly urge students and citizens alike to stop leaving valuables in their cars. This is the number one reason these vehicles are being targeted.”

Baylor’s notification also alerted students as to how suspects typically search for vehicles to target and urged them to be on watch for suspicious activity.

“The suspect(s) mode of operation is to check the vehicle to determine if it is unlocked. If the suspect(s) find an unlocked vehicle, they enter and remove any items of value,” the notification read. “All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be alert and cautious of their surroundings on and away from campus.”

To report an offense of motor vehicle burglary or any suspicious activity, students can contact BUPD at 254-710-2222 or through the BU Campus Guardian app, a free phone application allowing students to quickly contact university police, along with other features.