Car break-ins greatly increase

By Patricia Fuentes

November was a busy month for Campus Security. Car prowlings continued to be a problem in campus parking lots and 29 car break-ins occurred, up from 22 in October.

"This is way over the usual," says Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz. "There was over $40,000 in property stolen in the last month. We’re very concerned… There’s the potential for up to 8, 000 people per day using campus parking lots."

In collaboration with Parking Services, security strategies are being developed to try and deal with the problem.

"We believe we have some car prowlers targeting us from off-campus," says Fritz who advises people to follow common sense, locking vehicles when they park and keeping any valuables out of sight. Even small spare change on the dash board can attract a car break-in.

A female student was sexually assaulted in one of the drinking establishments on campus last month. The offender was not a student at U of C.

"In the two years that I’ve been here, offenders are people off-campus who come, we assume, because it is a university environment, and so they have easier access to victims," says Fritz. "Another problem is Peeping Toms around rez. Again, offenders are usually people from off-campus."

An elderly man lost in the university fields was found and returned home safely with help from Campus Security officers. The man, reportedly suffering from dementia, was wandering around all night.

"Of other interest, a group of anthropology students is studying us," says Fritz, with a wry smile. "They do this every year, going out with officers while on patrol, interviewing and studying us as a sub-cultural group."

Fritz was also happy to report they’ve lost another member to the Calgary Police Service, the third in a year.

"It’s a feather in our cap that the experience our officers engage in here and on campus is of value to CPS," Fritz says proudly. "On the other hand, we don’t want to lose too many."

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