Burglars break into cars on and near campus

Story by Lily Stephens, Multimedia Editor

Auto break-ins have begun hitting the Baker community again, near student housing on and off campus. Last fall break-ins and car damage were an issue as well.

Dean Cassy Bailey sent out a campus email on Aug. 18 warning students of the break-ins.

“This time of the year when all of your items are placed together is a great opportunity for thieves who want to take a lot quickly,” Bailey said in the email, “especially when there is an opportunity such as unlocked doors.”

Since then, there have been an increased number of break-ins outside Greek houses and other off-campus areas around Baldwin City.

Sophomore Gretchen Boxberger had her car broken into outside the Tri Delta house on Fremont Street, two weeks ago.

“My car door was kind of not fully closed… but then all [my] stuff was rummaged through,” Boxberger said.

She had left her car door unlocked, but said she normally does because she drives an older car. Boxberger also said she normally is not worried about leaving her car unlocked because Baldwin City is a small town.

Another student, who declined to have his name published, also had his car broken into on Sept. 20 in the parking lot beside Parmenter Hall. Someone broke the back sliding window latch so they could unlock the passenger side door from the inside. He had his radio, tools, electric tools and wiring and, “other little stuff,” stolen. This student said that Baldwin is fine, but he believes that “the campus does not actually care about their students.” He would like to see cameras put up to help prevent the issue.

“I was talking to the person who used to be the head of security… this happens every year but yet the campus still brushes it off and doesn’t do shit about it,” he said.

Security Officer Bonnie Cackler explained that Campus Security can assist students with handling break-ins.

“If a student comes to us, we take down as much information as we can and talk to any witnesses,” Cackler said.

In order to monitor potential thefts from vehicles, [officers] monitor the dorms.

“[There] are not really any cameras that monitor parking lots specifically,” Cackler said.

In regard to consequences, she said that reports must be filed with the Baldwin City Police Department.

“The [police] will take it from there as far as the legalities go,” Cackler said.

During the break-ins last year, Junior Payton Ruder had his car broken into outside of Sigma Phi Epsilon on Sixth Street.  “They stole an amplifier, five packs of beef jerky,  a phone charger [and a] speaker,” from Ruder.

Since his last break-in Ruder has taken precautions to avoid another one, and tells students to do the same.

“[Park] under well lit areas, making sure your car is locked… take all your belongings into your room with you, or try to cover them so they aren’t visible through the window,” Ruder said.

The University Clery Report was released Sept. 28 which contains a record of all campus crime statistics. There were three instances of “motor vehicle theft” reported in this year’s Clery Report.

Make sure to lock your cars and place valuables out of site to avoid your own incident.