Campus crime: Tips from UD Public Safety

Several robberies have been reported in the student neighborhood since class started a month ago. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.

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Zoë Hill | News Editor

Students have reported a number of break-ins since the beginning of the school year started just a month ago.

Safety advisory emails seem to appear in student’s inboxes every week. The first of which came on Aug. 28. A UD-owned house on Evanston Avenue was reportedly robbed in the early hours of that Saturday. The student noted that a gaming system and “personal items” were stolen that night, according to the UD Department of Public Safety. 

Exactly a week later, two houses on Lowes Street were hit. A computer, wallet and various electronics were reportedly taken from a UD-owned house, while similar items were stolen from a landlord house. Car keys were also grabbed from the second house, the safety advisory said.

That same day, Sept. 4, students were asked to be wary of people going around the neighborhood claiming to be UD officials. 

Again, just over a week went by before another house was reported burglarized. Electronics were reported stolen Sunday by a student who lives on Frericks Way in a Univerisity house. 

Robberies at UD have remained steady over the past few years. In 2017, the University reported 19 burglaries on campus, according to the 2020 Campus Security and Fire Safety report published by UD Public Safety. The next year saw an increase of incidents with 22 total burglaries, but the number fell back to 19 in 2019. 

It is unclear whether the COVID-19 pandemic affected the crime rate on campus, however, the fall semester this year reintroduced mass weekend gatherings in the student neighborhood. A number of the robberies were reported following house parties on campus. 

A total of 10 burglaries have been reported for the weeks of Aug. 1-Sept. 14, according to data from Savalas Kidd, assistant vice president for public safety and chief of police. Three safety advisories were sent out by Public Safety in response. Only nine burgalaries were reported for the same period last year, with two safety advisories accompanying them. 

“We’re concerned about any crime affecting our students,” Chief Kidd said. “We will continue to educate our students on crime prevention and safety tips. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of securing your residences when you leave or go to bed. Burglaries are crimes of opportunity, and most of them happen because of unlocked doors and windows.”

UD Public Safety published this list of tips to help keep the community safe:

Friend us: Put Public Safety’s number — 937-229-2121 — in your contacts. You also can connect immediately to the dispatch center by dialing 911 on a campus phone or pushing the button on any blue light emergency/assistance phones on campus. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @ud_publicsafety for information on our fall initiatives. 

Secure your living space: Lock your doors and windows when you leave and when you are home for the night. Secure your personal property, especially valuables that are easily stolen. Identify your valuables in a conspicuous place with an indelible marker or engraver. Photograph your valuables and make a list of their serial numbers. When hosting visitors, remove valuable items from common areas and secure them in areas separate from where visitors gather. 

Secure your residence hall and other campus buildings: Watch for people you do not know “tailgating” you while entering your residence hall or building that requires card access. These “tailgaters” may be trying to enter buildings undetected or otherwise bypass security at entrances. Alert desk staff or call Public Safety should you encounter a tailgater who concerns you. 

Secure your bikes: Use a U-bolt lock to secure your bike to bike racks. When at home consider storing your bike inside your house or in a residential facility bike storage room. Don’t forget to register your bike with us via this link, so Public Safety will have important information about it already in our records if your bike is stolen. 

Secure your car: Keep your vehicle locked. Remove all valuables from plain sight. Hide or take cell phones, tablets, laptops and backpacks with you when you exit your vehicle. 

 Pedestrian safety: Walk on sidewalks or other designated pedestrian walkways. Be alert when walking through parking lots and alleyways. Drivers’ vision is significantly reduced during early morning and twilight hours, so pay special attention during those times. Stay alert to your surroundings as you walk by limiting phone use. Try not to walk alone, especially in the dark. Take advantage of the University’s discounted ride program, Lyft Flyer Ride, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week to secure a safe ride to your destination.

Fire safety: Use appropriate care when cooking and do not leave appliances unattended while in use. Remember that candles are not permitted in any residential facility and unattended grills create a fire hazard. Do not tamper with fire safety devices. Notify Public Safety immediately at 937-229-2121 in the event of a fire. 

Community responsibility: Take care of and watch out for each other when socializing in the student neighborhood and areas around campus. Help each other engage in safe, responsible behavior. If you choose to consume alcoholic beverages, be aware of and comply with Ohio liquor laws and the University’s code of conduct. Keep track of your drink and do not accept an open beverage container or drink from a common container. 

Chief Kidd provided more campus safety and crime prevention guidelines in a video posted to Public Safety’s homepage, which you can see here.

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