Police investigate alleged car theft from ULV parking lot

by Jason Cooper
Photography Editor

As University of La Verne senior Micheal Koon sat in class Sept. 27, his classic car was allegedly stolen out of the library parking lot, taken for a joyride, crashed into a ditch in Pomona and set on fire, according to La Verne Police and Koon.

Koon, a senior business major, said he parked his car in the well-lighted library parking lot around 6 p.m. before a 6:30 p.m. class.

When his class got out, he returned to the lot to discover an empty stall where his car had been parked, he said.

“Prior to this incident I didn’t think anything like this could happen to me at La Verne,” Koon said. “I guess anyone is vulnerable.”

Koon said his 1968 Toyota Land Cruiser was fully restored and locked. He said he had put $5,000­$6,000 of work into the vehicle. Police said the fire damaged the vehicle beyond repair and thieves apparently stripped whatever could be carried including a new radio system he had recently installed.

Koon said his insurance would not cover the damage.

According to the police report, the vehicle was stolen at about 8:30 p.m., a time when there are still many people around the campus.

When Koon went to the police station to file a report, police said they had already found the vehicle off Yeager St. in Pomona. The LVPD said the suspects tried to go off-road with the vehicle getting it stuck in a ditch.

In an attempt to cover the evidence, they apparently lit it on fire, police said.

This signaled authorities to it, police said.

This incident comes shortly after a Sept. 26 memo was published by Campus Safety warning of a growing number of thefts on campus.

The memo included precautions to take to be protected from theft. The memo warned “we can no longer believe that we will be crime free just because this is ULV and things like that don’t happen here.”

“We need a larger security presence on campus,” Koon said. “Video surveillance cameras in the parking lots would be a good idea.”

The Koon family is currently offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the car thieves.

Koon is keeping a positive outlook.

“It is just a possession. It is not as big a deal and I am not going to let this event ruin my life or spirit.”

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