Theft becomes an issue on campus


Greg Randolph prepares to lock the doors of the chapel Tuesday evening during his rounds.

Story by Lily Stephens, Multimedia Editor

Several Baker students have been experiencing car damage and break-ins this semester, specifically outside fraternity and sorority houses. The frequency of these break-ins is beginning to raise questions. 

Sophomore Payton Ruder had his car broken into on Oct. 10.

“They stole an amplifier, five packs of beef jerky, my phone charger, my bluetooth speaker,” Ruder said. 

Ruder’s car was left with chipped paint and a slightly dented door frame. This was the second time Ruder’s car had been broken into while at Baker. Ruder lives at Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Junior Conner Petty is one of Ruder’s fraternity brothers and said this is not an uncommon occurrence and that multiple men in his fraternity have had their cars broken into recently. The most common item stolen from the vehicles is stereo systems, but often times anything left in the car is snatched.

Sophomore Logan Lamb is a member of the Zeta Chi fraternity and had the mirror of his Jeep stolen on Aug. 26, the evening of Baker’s fraternities “bid day” parties. 

“It looked like it was hit because the pole that holds the mirror that lets it turn was jagged as if something with force had hit it and broken it off the pole,” Lamb said.

Lamb believes the mirror was kept as a trophy.

Unlike Ruder, Lamb thinks that his mirror “fell victim” to the fun of a busy night out for many on one of the first weekends when all Baker students were back on campus.

However, Lamb now removes the mirror from his car every time he hears that Kappa Sigma is hosting a party. Zeta Chi is on Eighth Street two blocks from Kappa Sigma. Many party goers pass Zeta Chi on their way to Kappa Sigma.

Lamb was not the only student that had fallen victim to the Baldwin City mirror snatcher. Angela Bober and her sister Ashley Bober, both sophomores and members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, had the passenger side mirror ripped off of their custom Jeep.

“We think they just ripped it off because the wiring wasn’t cut or anything, but it was broken,” Angela said. “Someone had to have ripped it off on purpose.”

Their vehicle was left much like Lamb’s, with the mirror completely gone. However, unlike Lamb, the Bober’s received a tip regarding the reason their mirror had been taken.

“Someone told us that the frats’ hazing was to go around and mess with each sorority’s cars,” Angela said.

When asked, the women of the other two sororities, Delta Delta Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha, could not confirm damage to their cars or a sisters.

The Baker University Clery Report was released in October and it reported two instances of “motor vehicle theft” in 2016, which refers to the complete theft of a vehicle. This year there have been no reported instances of complete motor vehicle theft.

The number of burglaries that occurred in the past three years where as follows: 2014, one on public property, 2015, one on campus property and 2016, eight all occurring in residence halls.

The report for 2017 will not be released until Oct. 2018. The students mentioned in this article will all fall into the burglary category of the report.

Angela said she was surprised that her car was damaged while in Baldwin City. Baker and Baldwin City have historically low crime rates, but last years Clery Report and the events reported this year are beginning to create a new trend.

This spike in last year’s reported crime is disconcerting for many on campus and car break-ins are becoming a much less isolated area of concern.

Students are becoming extra vigilant, ensuring that they lock their cars and remove valuables.