String of car burglaries in campus lots

Over the past month there have been roughly 30 car burglaries across Huntsville, with about 12 of them occurring on campus.

“Many of the dates coincide with the burglaries happening city-wide and the ones happening on campus,” UPD Deputy Chief James Fitch said.

The burglaries have been taking place all across campus, from the North Stadium parking lot to Sam Houston Village, with the most reported burglaries at one time being four vehicles at the North Stadium lot. Car burglaries are not uncommon reports to have at a police station, but what is unusual about these cases are the amount of reports that have been called in during the past month.

According to Fitch, all of the burglaries occurred during nighttime and the technique of burglarizing the vehicles has all been alike.

“The method used was basically breaking out the windows,” Fitch said. “This follows along with the other instances, so it gives us a chance to assume that it is the same suspect.”

When breaking into a vehicle, the vandals are usually looking for after-market stereo systems and anything left out in plain view such as backpacks, purses, wallets or electronics.

“Students need to remove anything from the front of their vehicle that is going to be seen that could be worth something to these criminals,” Fitch said.

Students should hide any valuables that might catch the eye of a passing criminal, either in the trunk or under the seat. The safest way for students to ensure a valuable is not stolen is to take it with them when they leave their vehicle.

Fitch also said car burglars will often walk down rows of cars pulling the door handles, checking to see if one is open. Students should make sure to lock the doors of their vehicles when they leave them to further help prevent theft.

The criminals appear to be very mobile because they have hit different parking lots across campus, Fitch said, so just like there is no sure fire way to know where they will strike next, there is no “one lot or spot” that will keep a vehicle out of harm’s way.

If students have any information about these burglaries, or see any suspicious behavior they should call the University Police Department immediately at (936) 294-1794.

Leave a Reply