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The Ring - The University of Victoria's Community Newspaper

February 20, 2003 · Vol 29 · No 4

Thieves target parked cars on campus

 

When you park your car on campus, lock your doors and don’t leave valuables in sight.

 

hat’s the message campus security is sending to vehicle owners who park in UVic lots. Although crime is lower on campus than in surrounding communities because of regular security patrols, theft still happens.

 

Recently, a string of break-and-enters into vehicles parked in campus lots occurred during daytime hours. “Over a two-and-a-half day span, six thefts were reported,” says Allison Eddy, personal safety co-ordinator with campus security services. “In one incident, the two young suspects were confronted by the owner of a vehicle, who was pepper-sprayed before he chased them away. Vehicle owners should be more aware that these crimes can take place on campus.”

 

Eddy says that thieves tend to work campus parking lots for few days and leave before campus security and the police know of their presence. Most theft from cars is through unlocked doors and open windows, which are open invitations to thieves to help themselves to your belongings.

 

Last year, 27 incidents of theft from cars were reported on campus. Eddy says the number fluctuates from year to year, but for the most part, theft from cars is decreasing. “Campus security officers step up patrol in certain areas at certain times they know are most likely to be hit and will stop suspicious people to inquire about their presence on campus and escort them out if necessary,” she says.

 

There are several ways you can lower your risk. Always lock your vehicle, even if you’re gone for only a few minutes. Leave nothing tempting in view, including gym bags or spare change. Park in well-lit and popular areas. Install a car alarm and engrave stereo equipment with your driver’s license number.
If you observe what you believe to be a theft in progress, don’t approach or pursue the suspects. Take note of their physical de-scription and direction and mode of travel. Then call 911 and let the police take care of it.

 

If you have any information on the recent thefts from vehicles parked on campus, call Crimestoppers at 386-TIPS.


 

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