Tarleton Police Department issues a Crime Alert due to burglaries

Francisco Castro, Contributor

On Tuesday, April 10, a school-wide email was sent from the Tarleton State University Police Department. This email, addressed by Assistant Chief of Police Alvin J. Allcon, warned faculty and students of a string of motor vehicle burglaries occurring throughout the Tarleton campus and the city of Stephenville.

“From time to time, we’ve had burglaries occur here and there. There have been burglaries of vehicles that has plagued law enforcement and communities all across the nation.”  Allcon said. “However, approximately three weeks ago, we’ve had a rush of burglaries occur both on our campus and the city that seemed to have been related. We had a period where we had no burglaries and then we had some that occurred yesterday. We, as a department, felt that it was necessary to send out an alert to heighten the awareness.”

While there has been no pattern found in where the burglaries occurred, according to Allcon, the P20 lot at Memorial Stadium has been found to be the most hit, with the P28 lot on N. Frey Street being the most recent.

On the crime alert, firearms were one of the many items listed as stolen as a result of these burglaries.

“We’ve had a couple of the burglaries where we’ve had firearms stolen,” Allcon explained. “The ones from previous weeks had firearms stolen, we had firearms reported stolen in yesterday’s burglaries. Fortunately, some of the firearms have been recovered thanks to Stephenville PD and Erath County Sherriff’s Department.

“I can’t say that there is or isn’t a danger to the Tarleton and Stephenville community now that firearms are involved. However, from what I know at this point, the motive of these burglaries is financial. The suspect is seeing this as an opportunity to make money. There’s nothing to indicate that the firearms are being used in violent crimes, or that the suspect may intend to conduct such crimes. As for the other items that have been reported stolen, we have been making attempts to recover them at this time.”

In the interest of the safety of the Tarleton Community, Allcon asks that the public be aware of their safety.

“There’s a perception that I’m not going to be a victim of a crime,” Allcon states. “You just need to be aware and not be in that mindset. You don’t have to be paranoid, but to just be aware of their surroundings. If you leave items in your vehicle, particularly in a public place, they are liable to being stolen.”

Allcon also mentions that these burglaries have also occurred on the driveways of Stephenville residents, this as a result of leaving vehicles unlocked.

”In most of these cases, the victims of these most recent crimes had unlocked vehicles,” Allcon explained. “So, we ask that the people be aware, lock the vehicle, and take their items.

“When we have thefts reported, people report something that’s valuable, but don’t any descriptors of that item. If it’s a piece of electronics, there’s no serial number that people have readily available that they can provide us with. Certain items we can put it in a National Crime Information System. If an officer were to recover an item from an arrest and it has a serial number, that officers probably going to run the item through the database and it’ll come back as stolen and there’s a good chance we can recover the item through those actions. If we don’t have [the information], then we won’t know that that was the one stolen.”

Allcon also asks that anyone who has any information in regards to the burglaries, that they call the Erath County Crime Stoppers at 254-965-CASH (2274).