Crime rates lower this summer


July and August 2012 saw crime rates 6 percent lower than in summer 2011




Those on and around campus in the past months enjoyed a summer that was a little safer than last year’s.

Division of Public Safety records show that overall crime numbers of July and August of 2012 in the Penn Patrol Zone are six percent lower than those of 2011.

Crime against property decreased from 118 in 2011 to 108 in 2012, while crime against person increased from 19 to 21 incidents — an 11 percent increase from last summer.

Though crime against property saw an overall decrease, burglary increased by 233 percent.

According to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, the surge was mainly due to a vendor working in the high rise apartments, who had authorized access to the buildings and stole items. The burglar has since been captured.

Of the crimes against person, five were aggravated assault meaning the injuries of the victim were apparent and the police were able to make an arrest upon arrival. Five arrests were made out of all five incidents and, according to Rush, they were not Penn affiliated.

Additionally, in July and August of 2012, there were 39 thefts from buildings compared to 34 in 2011.

Rush said that students can prevent unattended theft by securing their own property.

She urges students to register all valuables through Campus Express so that Penn Police can identify any stolen objects and return them to the owner.

“This can save you a world of trouble,” Rush said. “We make sure you are given every opportunity to save yourself from being a victim of theft.”

Bike theft numbers have significantly decreased since last summer from 34 incidents in 2011 to 18 in 2012. Rush still urges students to register bikes on Campus Express and to secure them properly with a U-lock because “cables are easy to defeat,” she said.

Despite the decreased crime numbers from the summer months, DPS is well prepared for the new semester.

“As we gear up for the new school year, criminals gear up as well,” Rush said.

She added, “Opportunity plus motive equals crime — we won’t take the motive, but we can take away the opportunity.”

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