Early November, four vehicles were broken into and one vehicle was even reported stolen.
Is there a criminal mastermind preying on the Austin Peay campus?
Hardly, the reported vehicles had one thing in common: they were left unlocked.
The suspect is a black male, whom at the time of the robberies, wore a distinctive white hoodie.
The thief’s misconduct was filmed and photographed by a parking lot security camera.
Assistant Chief of Police Sammie Williams explained that the individual combed through the lower Meacham parking lot, checking door handles.
Upon finding a vehicle unlocked, the suspect would enter the car and collect any valuables that may have been inside.
The vehicle that was stolen had its keys within the cab.
The thief discovered the keys and drove off.
Unfortunately, these thefts were crimes of opportunities.
Meaning that the perpetrator did not have formal planning before committing the crime.
In short, the chance was there and the suspect merely seized it.
To further illustrate the simplicity of the thefts, Williams said, “He’s just walking through a parking lot and checking door handles.”
In response to these robberies, the campus police have taken several preventative measures.
A notice was sent through PR, detailing people to secure their vehicles.
Extra patrols were deployed and camera footage relating to the robberies have been thoroughly reviewed.
The perpetrator’s photo was posted on the campus police’s website as well.
Bill Persinger, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing stated, “One of the most common issues on all campuses is unattended theft. Unattended mean things that are left unsecured and unmonitored.”
Persinger advised students and faculty to keep belongings with them and to lock their vehicles.
While the campus thefts were crimes of opportunities, Williams still recommends caution.
Williams warned, “I’m not saying they won’t break into your vehicles if it’s locked.
However, the chances of being robbed are considerably lower if vehicles are locked and belongings stowed away.”
Campus Police ask all students and faculty to please follow all previous announcements which prescribe keeping personal possessions on hand and locking their vehicles.