On Tuesday, an unknown suspect broke into and stole the stereo from a staff member’s vehicle in a campus parking lot.
According to Mike Roth, director of campus security, the vehicle break-in and theft occurred at around 1:30 p.m. in parking lot U, the gravel parking lot near Davidson.
Roth said the suspect gained access to the inside of the car by using something along the lines of a screwdriver to open the locked door. It was reported in a campus-wide email Roth sent that the suspect damaged the driver’s side door lock and stole the stereo attached to the car.
According to Roth, a student witness saw the suspect driving a 1990’s green Honda accord with a grey hood and no license plate. Roth said the witness saw that the suspect was slender, about 6-foot, appeared to be about 18-20 years old, and had blonde hair.
Roth said this isn’t the first time a vehicle break-in has happened this school year.
“At the beginning of this semester, a professor had their vehicle broken into, making Tuesday’s vehicle break-in the second this school year,” he said.
Roth also noted a series of car break-ins last year that took place within two weeks of each other, occurred in the same area, and had similar cases of shattered windows.
Tuesday’s vehicle break-in wasn’t the only suspicious activity reported within the past two days. Roth said four people were caught trespassing and burying “a marijuana pipe and card” on Wednesday at about 4:30 p.m. near a Frisbee-golf area.
“They gave a really weird story that one of them was a youth pastor and one of the girls was trying to quit smoking,” Roth said. “That’s what we should be on the lookout for.”
Roth said these suspicious activities occur more frequently than students would like to think. He also acknowledged ways students can help prevent these situations or report them.
Paul Anderson, campus safety supervisor, said, “Criminals take the path of least resistance.”
Anderson said the best ways to avoid vehicle break-ins are to always make sure the car doors are locked, and to make sure valuable items are out of view.
He said students should be reminded that there are no gates on campus to stop members of the general public from driving up. He recalled the witness of Tuesday’s vehicle break-in saw the suspect doing something that “wasn’t normal,” but assumed it was a student looking into a friend’s car.
Kristina Schwartz, campus safety officer, acknowledged some confusion students might have about reporting suspicious activity.
“Most people assume it’s a student, but it’s not a bad idea to give us a call,” Schwartz said. She spent about three hours cleaning up the mess from the trespassing situation.
Roth said students should not be afraid to report an activity or person that doesn’t appear normal.
“If we had more than one officer, the guy would have been caught,” he said. “If it’s just Campus Safety, we only have one or two pairs of eyes. We really need everybody’s help.”
The suspect of Tuesday’s break-in hasn’t been caught. Roth encourages students to keep an eye out for the descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle.