People keep stealing things

Burglary rampant

in Merrill Engineering

parking lot

Thieves burglarized five cars parked in the Merrill Engineering parking lot last week. Merchandise stolen included CDs and car stereos. The burglaries also left car owners with broken windows and damaged dashboards. On the afternoon of Feb. 20, one student actually saw two burglars inside his car as he was walking toward it.

He yelled at the men who then fled in a white sport utility vehicle, taking much of the student’s property with them. The student recorded the license plate number and immediately called police. Police are investigating the theft and discovered the car is registered in Price, Utah.

Thieves also broke into two cars parked in the LDS Institute of Religion lot and one parked at Primary Children’s Medical Center. The burglaries resulted in the loss of a purse and a camera and police speculated that in at least one of the cases, thieves may have been attempting to steal the vehicle itself.

Police believe the Merrill Engineering lot is targeted because the getaway route, 100 South, is easily accessible from the lot. Detective Mike McPharlin advises students against leaving property in plain view and said the best defense is installing a car alarm. McPharlin said it’s very common for thieves to smash windows to grab merchandise inside the car.

“They just put a coat over the window and smash it with a rock,” he said, adding that alarms can help deter burglars.

McPharlin said other lots commonly targeted are the parking terrace at the Hospital and the Guardsman Way lot.

Victims create

opportunity-thieves

take advantage

McPharlin said victims are giving thieves the opportunity to steal by leaving backpacks and other valuables unattended.

A thief stole a wallet out of a woman’s backpack while she was using a rest room in the Union. The woman told police she had left the backpack outside of her stall. Another student left her backpack unattended while looking for a book in the Marriott Library. When she returned, someone had stolen it. The backpack was later located inside the library, but the student’s wallet was gone.

Finally, a student left her backpack in a storage cubicle inside the U Bookstore. She told police she left it for only two minutes and when she returned, the bag was gone.

Other thefts on campus include a day parking permit stolen from the Museum of Natural History and a bus pass taken from a student in a College of Law computer lab. A video duplicator that was supposed to be taken to U Surplus and Salvage also was stolen sometime between pickup and delivery.

compiled by Cara Wieser