September crime rates stable since 2012
Twenty-three bike thefts occurred in September
October 17, 2013, 9:03 pm · Updated October 17, 2013, 10:26 pm·
Jill Castellano | DP
This September saw relatively the same amount of total crime as last September, according to the Division of Public Safety, but crimes against property such as theft are still an ongoing concern at the University.
Total crime decreased from 90 to 87 incidents compared to September 2012, of which 59 of the incidents involved people affiliated with the University. However, the crimes against person saw a significant drop — a total decrease from 18 incidents to eight. The number of simple assaults decreased from seven to two, and the total number of robberies was three compared to last September’s six. There were arrests in all three of the robbery cases.
While crime against person decreased, crime against property increased. Crimes against property went up from 72 to 79 total incidents from September 2012 to September 2013. Of the 79 incidents in September 2013, 54 of the incidents involved affiliated persons. Bike theft increased from 17 to 23 incidents, and theft from buildings went up from 17 to 23.
Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said that this September was different than past Septembers because the school year began earlier, so all students were already on campus for the entire month.
The increase in crime against property from September 2012 to September 2013 is consistent with an overall increase in crime against property from January to the end of September in 2012 and to the same period in 2013. There were 495 total crimes against property in that period in 2012, while the number jumped to 532 over the same period in 2013.
Rush added that theft continues to be a problem at Penn. In particular, theft from buildings — including retail stores — and bicycle theft have been focus areas for DPS this year.
Out of the 23 bike thefts, 10 of the bicycles involved were improperly secured, meaning they had an easily-removable chain or cable lock instead of a more theft-proof U-lock. Of the remaining bike thefts, eight of the bikes were completely unsecured, and three had U-locks. In one of the U-lock cases, according to Rush, the person secured the bike to a spindle in a fence, which the thief pulled off.
In the 23 cases, 18 of the bike owners were affiliated with Penn.
DPS stresses properly securing bicycles and loose items like cell phones in order to help prevent theft.