Caroline Wilkerson, Copy Editor~
Over the past few weeks, car larcenies at the University of Lynchburg have been on the rise.
Bob Driskill, Director of Campus Safety and Security, sent a school-wide email that said, “There has been a rise in larcenies from vehicles around the University of Lynchburg community. In an effort to reduce the number of these incidents, we would like to share information with students about locking vehicle doors and removing valuables to reduce theft.”
According to the University’s Daily Crime Log, seven of the nine reported incidents the week of October 14 to October 21 were larcenies, six of which occurred in students’ cars. Some of these incidences included items stolen from locked and unlocked cars, and even a car itself. Five of these larcenies occurred on campus at either students’ houses or in general student parking areas.
University of Lynchburg student Carter Old said, “I came back from our golf tournament and everything in my center console was pulled out and sitting on my floor. They stole all my change and my sunglasses.”
Jack Timmons, a junior, also said, “I opened my car door and someone had stolen all my change, as well as gone through my entire center console.”
Both of these larcenies occurred on either Sunday or Monday night, but were not reported until the morning of October 17th. The students’ cars were in the same parking lot, and both cars were unlocked.
As reported by the Lynchburg Police Department’s Crime Map, one third of crimes this week were motor vehicle thefts, and the other two thirds of crimes in the city consisted of robbery and larcenies. This pattern matched the same crimes occuring at the University this week.
The National Center for Education Statistics is also seeing an increase pattern in car larcenies, saying, “In 2015, there were 27,500 criminal incidents against persons and property on campus at public and private 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies…motor vehicle theft contributing to twelve percent (3,300 incidents) of crimes reported across college and university campuses.”
Driskill wants to remind students that, “In an effort to reduce the recent increase in larcenies from vehicles, Campus Safety and Security would like to ask you to help prevent this crime by taking the following steps: never leave valuables or packages visible in your vehicle…and keep your vehicle locked at all times, even when parked in your own driveway!”
Driskill also cautioned students in his email to, “Remember, larceny is a crime of opportunity! If you leave your vehicle unlocked, or keep items of value in your car, you increase your risk of becoming victim of theft. So please lock your vehicles and do not leave items of value inside your vehicle.”