Total crime rates increase for the month of November

DPS's Walk-Back Program will walk students home during the finals season

· December 10, 2013, 5:33 pm   ·  Updated December 10, 2013, 7:33 pm

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Total crime increased by about 25 percent from November 2012 to November 2013.

A total of 79 incidents were reported this November, compared to the 63 that were reported last November. Thefts from vehicles also increased, from three incidents last November to 10 this November, and forcible sex offenses rose from two to five incidents. Thefts from buildings decreased from 31 in November 2012 to 12 incidents last month.

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Part of the increase in thefts from vehicles was due to two suspects stealing airbags out of old Hondas. It is believed that they were responsible for 12 airbag thefts across Philadelphia, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said. The Division of Public Safety worked with the Philadelphia Police Department in apprehending one of the two individuals responsible for the thefts. There is a warrant out for the arrest of his accomplice.

Rush said that the airbag thefts are most likely connected to a black market for the purchase and sale of vehicle parts.

Bike theft also rose from four thefts in November 2012 to 11 in November 2013. Five of the stolen bicycles were locked by cables or chains, three had u-locks and three were unsecured. Rush emphasized that both having a u-lock and using a u-lock correctly are important when securing a bicycle.

Related: Four burglaries in the Quad last week

Three of the bicycle thefts can be traced to one apprehended criminal, who was stealing different parts from different bicycles — like the frame from one and the wheel from another — supposedly to assemble a new bike.

In reference to the rise in forcible sex offenses this November, Rush commented that increased education and awareness surrounding sexual violence could have led to an increase in reported incidents.

For the calendar year so far — from January to November — total crime against property is up from 627 incidents in 2012 to 672 in 2013. Rush noted that the fluctuation “is always around theft from buildings.”

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“This historically has been a problem,” she said. “It’s where we see a lot of unattended theft from buildings.”

Particularly during the holiday season, Rush encourages avoiding thefts by keeping valuables close and out of plain view.

Rush also mentioned that Dec. 11 begins DPS’s Walk-Back Program. Patrols will be stationed at the Button outside Van Pelt Library from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to walk students to their rooms.

“When you come out of the library at 3 a.m. and you’re a little overtired, don’t walk home alone,” Rush said.

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