Lock it up over break
Marcus Clem | Collegio Reporter
They had dead-bolted doors and security cameras. They even asked their neighbors to keep an eye on things. It still wasn’t enough.
Kameron Poole and Chance Thorp saved money for months to buy a 50-inch hi
gh-definition television for their rental home on Broadway, one of the more prominent residences on the street because of the large fence painted with the split-face Pittsburg State logo.
They say all was well for most of the semester that included several parties, alcohol consumption and other “essential” activities for a proper education. Then came Thanksgiving Break.
Poole and Thorp didn’t think twice about leaving their TV in the rental house because their security preparations would protect them. At least that’s what they thought.
“I was really upset,” said Thorp, sophomore in criminal justice. “I just came home and… our TV’s not here. We just purchased it over summer break, and now all of that money is gone. We don’t have any way to get back what we lost until somebody finds it.”
Someone familiar enough with the layout of the house picked the perfect angle to break in, abscond with the TV, and escape without being seen or caught on tape.
There were no witnesses, and the thief did not leave a scrap of hard evidence behind. Poole he is disappointed with the efforts made to catch the perpetrator, and he is skeptical of the claim there’s nothing that can be done or discovered.
“Somebody had to see something,” said Poole, sophomore in chemical engineering. “You don’t just see someone walking down the street with a big TV in their arms every day.”
Kaitlyn Genereux, sophomore in fashion merchandising, says the main streets have a higher security risk.
“The biggest at-risk places are these houses on Broadway,” she said. “It’s not the fault of the people who live there, but if you live in a prominent location like that, you are taking a risk that might be unnecessary. I am not surprised to see any of those houses robbed.”
Mike McCracken, director of university police and parking services, says his office does not handle crimes that occur outside of university property, but the situation is being monitored.
“The main thing is, during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time, there seems to be a rash of these crimes,” he said. “There have been some that have been unusually close to campus, yet that just seems to be how it is this year.”
Thorp says he knows about the burglary problems, but until becoming a victim himself, he saw it mostly as a concern for others. He says he understands why the crime is happening.
“We need to get all of these bums out of here, all of these guys just going around looking for something to steal,” he said. “I have seen them walking through the yard, casing houses. They’re broke college kids; they get by when they find something to take and sell.”
McCracken says the thieves are typically opportunists and victimization can be avoided with a few basic steps.
“Really, it is common sense,” he said. “Lock everything up, and do not give someone the opportunity to steal something. Most thieves operate on opportunities. They will not waste time and energy breaking into a place for limited reward.”