Thefts reported all over campus Continuing the recent trend of car thefts near campus, 19 cars were broken into between 3 p.m. Friday and 11 p.m. Sunday. University Police Sergeant Keith Christian said that in nine of the break-ins, cellular phones were taken. Other items taken ranged from a laptop computer to minimal amounts of cash. Most of the items taken were left in plain view, Christian added. Christian said he could not speculate as to why so many cars were broken into this weekend, and would not say whether Family Weekend played any role. Many more cars than usual were on campus during the weekend due to Family Weekend. And University Lot 5 -- located right behind Franklin Field -- was the site of several of the weekend's break-ins. The Penn-Brown football game took place at Franklin Field Saturday afternoon. Although this weekend's car thefts occurred all across campus, University parking garages have been the primary target in past weeks. Last week, a total of 21 vehicles were broken into at the University-owned parking garage at 38th and Spruce streets, with nine incidents reported on a single day. And according to Parking Services Manager Anthony Bozzuto, Transportation and Parking Services is working with the Department of Public Safety to try to decrease the incidence of the break-ins. "We are very concerned and we're going to do our our best," Bozzuto said. "We've been banging our heads together trying to come up with a solid attack plan." Public Safety Security Director Chris Algard said the University is looking into putting electronic surveillance devices in the garages and possibly adding more security personnel. Bozzuto said the parking garage at 34th and Chestnut streets, which has been hit with a rash of break-ins, has had new screening put in the last two weeks. The new screening should deter perpetrators who climbed into the garage, Bozzuto said, adding that the lower screening has been reinforced with steel piping. The University parking garage located on Civic Center Boulevard has also been reinforced with steel. And the doors at the garages at 32nd and Walnut streets and 38th and Spruce streets have been repaired. Bozzuto is also examining the possibility of decreasing the time doors remain open in the parking garages. Bozzuto added that the University is doing all it can to improve the security of the parking garages, and that customers themselves must take a role in improving security. He explained that customers often leave their valuables in plain sight, luring potential thieves. He also said that customers must not be afraid to report to the police suspicious individuals in the parking garages. Bozzuto said he believes the culprits in the break-ins are probably people with drug problems looking for whatever they can sell. In some instances, thieves break in the vehicles solely to steal coins lying in plain view.Comments powered by Disqus
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