The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Chronicle’s View: Lock it up

According to U police officers, students have a reason to take extra precautions after dark.

A recent proliferation of car burglaries and other theft-oriented crimes on the U campus has caused police officers to issue a warning to all students that cars parked in some of the U’s more obscure parking lots are at risk of being pillaged late at night.

A large percentage of the crimes take place in the larger, less-central West Stadium and Merrill Engineering parking lots.

This is likely because these parking lots, and others like them, are out of sight and maintain a degree of anonymity-something that appeals to criminals looking to burglarize.

According to police officers, the majority if these crimes are crimes of opportunity, or crimes that are not so much premeditated, but rather prompted by something the criminal observes.

In many cases, CD cases left out on car seats, open doors, open windows and other such obvious indicators can attract opportunistic criminals and leave car-owners at greater risk of victimization.

Considering the commuter-campus nature of the U-which means that a majority of students drive their cars to school, park them in the lots and leave them unguarded-auto theft ought to be a pre-eminent concern among U students.

As such, there are a handful of relatively common precautions that can be taken to help ensure that you are not the victim of opportunity-crime.

One easy precaution that can be taken is to simply make sure to obscure any valuable objects in your car that might catch a burglar’s eye. This means putting CD cases under seats, taking off the faces to expensive CD players, locking any important items in glove boxes and generally making an attempt to make your car seem as unappealing as possible.

Another suggestion is to use a device like “The Club” or other such obvious theft-prevention tools to dissuade burglars from choosing your car for their crimes. It is logical that if a criminal were to see two equally appealing automobiles, they would select the less-obviously protected of the two to burglarize.

Along these lines, it is imperative that U students remember that auto-thefts and burglaries are indeed crimes of opportunity, and if car-owners limit the opportunity of criminals to burglarize their vehicles, the less likely they will be the victims of these types of crimes.

It is also important to remember that the parking lots most often plagued by car-thieves and the like are the more out-of-the way, remote lots on campus. As such, safety-minded students ought to avoid these lots after 6 p.m., when parking services employees discontinue their patrols.

Parking your car under light posts or in generally well-lit areas will also help decrease the risk of burglary by making your car, and subsequently any criminal trying to break-into it, more visible to passing police officers and pedestrians.

With the implementation of such simple precautionary measures, students can help limit the risk of crime at the U.

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