Recent thefts call for prevention

Beth Wilberding

Julie Watson, a freshman from Murfreesboro, Tenn., walked to the Kentucky Street lot – where she thought her car would be safe.

But in the hour and half that her car was unattended that day, it had been broken into and 30 of her compact discs were missing.

“The police said that’s a bad area,” Watson said.

And Watson’s car isn’t the only one that has been broken into.

Eight cars parked on the Hill were broken into in the last week, according to campus police reports. The thefts happened in the parking structure, the Kentucky Street lot and Egypt lot.

Campus police officer Joe Harbaugh said the best way to keep your car safe is to take any personal belongings out of the car with you every time you park it.

“Stereos and CDs are particularly vulnerable,” he said. “If you have an auto-detach face plate on your stereo, take it with you.”

Harbaugh said CDs were the No. 1 item to steal because they are easy to grab and easy to sell. Other targeted items are books, clothes and wallets.

Elizabethtown senior Richard Larkin left his car on the seventh floor of the parking structure on Thursday for an hour. When he returned, he discovered his car had been broken into.

Though there was more than $600 in stolen property and damage to the car, he won’t be receiving any money from his insurance company.

“I only had liability on it,” Larkin said.

Bobbie Hood of State Farm Insurance said a student needs to have comprehensive insurance to cover property damage and theft.

Harbaugh said often times, a patrolling police officer will find a break-in and report it to the owner. But students can reach the police station anytime if they need to report a theft.

For now, students like Watson and Larkin will have to deal with replacing their property.

“I never thought my car would be broken into,” Larkin said.

Reach Beth Wilberding at [email protected]