Sarah Van Buskirk
The University of La Verne has experienced lots of automotive entanglements within the past years from break-ins to catalytic converter theft, and of recent, vandalism.
Professor of Journalism George Keeler’s car windows were struck with no remnants of burglary, just a glass-shattering wack during the night of April 6 in the parking lot of the Cogley Building.
Keeler said surveillance footage caught two youths, about high school-aged, carrying skateboards around 10:25 p.m. Thursday night. The security camera spotted the two youths walking across the parking lot and between the Cultural and Natural History Collections and the Counseling Center.
“Let’s just take away this false impression that if you are here you are safe,” Keeler said. “We are in a very dangerous area apparently where break-ins are pretty common.”
Keeler’s car was under two large flood lights on the building and a third light on the roof. There were no cameras in the exact area where Keeler’s car was parked so the act was not found on tape nor were the vandals identified, making the people responsible to be unknown at the time.
Another act of vandalism that was captured on video happened on Homecoming night as after five to six blows to a car window parked in Lot G across from the Arts and Communications Building, a hooded skateboarder broke through the glass and proceeded to leave, abandoning the rest of the car.
Keeler said this was a fire fueled from rage and no fault should be implemented on Campus Safety’s security dependability. This was a malicious act that was unfortunately on campus grounds and caused damage to an innocent person’s property.
Though Campus Safety does patrol the perimeters of campus frequently, surveillance of security footage should be maintained with the same integrity. The idea of 24-hour surveillance may seem unreasonable but more periodic check-ups may catch someone in the act of another crime.
Implementing signs around campus informing vehicle owners to park at their own risk and to remove valuables from sight could help those who park in the University’s designated parking lots or structure.
In addition, the knowledge that cameras are recording with signs near lots and buildings could mitigate the chances of non-ULV students rummaging through others’ property. This could prevent acts like Keeler’s situation from happening again.
Campus Safety encourages the community to file a report when issues arise so that they can work with the La Verne Police Department in order for due process.
“Sometimes these thieves are crimes of opportunity so they will see backpacks and things of value in plain view,” Ruben Ibarra, director of university safety operations, said. “We encourage people to not leave things of value in plain view like if you are going to leave a laptop, put it in the trunk but be cognizant of your surroundings when you do put it in the trunk to make sure no one is watching.”
Sarah Van Buskirk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.