Campus police investigating numerous break-ins at south end of campus

Joe Lord

Kevin Hickok was sleeping in his dorm room on the sixth floor of Keen Hall Thursday morning when the telephone rang.

The Vine Grove freshman let his answering machine pick it up, but he got up when he heard a campus police dispatcher asking him to call back.

Hickok knew what the call was about.

“I just figured somebody broke into my car,” he said.

He was right.

Nine vehicles, including Hickok?s, were broken into Wednesday night in Egypt and Service Supply lots, resulting in more than $3,500 in damage and $7,500 in stolen property.

Campus police are investigating the incidents, all of which happened between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday, Capt. Eugene Hoofer said.

It is not uncommon for so many vehicle break-ins to happen at one time, Hoofer said.

“It’s not unusual when you get a car broken into you get more than one,” he said.

Hoofer would not say if campus police have any suspects in the thefts, or if these incidents were related to thefts from vehicles parked in the Kentucky Lot earlier this semester.

As happened then, most of the items stolen from vehicles in Egypt included compact discs and CD players.

Hoofer offered advice for those students who leave their cars in Egypt: secure loose property before leaving your cars and put items like CD cases should be taken inside or put in the trunk.

“Don’t have your property where anybody can see it,” Hoofer said.

It’s a lesson learned the hard way for Hickok, who had his car CD player and about 120 CDs stolen from his 1991 Pontiac Grand Am parked in the Service Supply lot.

After calling campus police back Thursday morning, Hickock threw on a T-shirt and shorts and walked across University Boulevard to meet a police officer at his car.

A rear window was shattered.

Glass lay around the car. There was a gaping hole in the dashboard. The ends of cut wires dangled from a hole left empty by his stolen CD player.

“The cop told me they did a pretty clean job,” Hickok said.

Campus police awakened Russellville freshman Kimberly Martin about a half an hour after they called Hickok. Her 1999 Ford Mustang had also been broken into.

Martin found tinted shards of a broken window lying around her car. What she didn?t find was $735 worth of CDs.

“I think they need better lights in Egypt,” she said.

Hickok was upset his car wasn?t better protected.

“My view on it is, if you pay to go to a school here and you pay to park, then they should be able to make sure your stuff is safe.”

Hoofer said two to four campus police officers were on patrol Wednesday night at the times of the incidents. Regular checks were made at campus parking lots.

“We’re in and out of lots constantly,” Hoofer said.

Campus police also do individual stake-outs near lots, he said. An officer will park nearby and watch for strange activity in the lots.

And students can also help protect vehicles, Hoofer said.

“If there’s a question about something suspicious, call us,” he said.

Reach Joe Lord at [email protected]