Stephenville campus struck with a chain of car burglaries

Chief Welch warns students to stay safe this break

On Dec. 3, 2021, the Tarleton State University Police Department issued out emails of warning for students, faculty and staff following recent car burglaries on campus. These reported burglaries began Nov. 5 and have continued with the latest burglary having taken place on Dec. 7, 2021. 

Crimes like attempted burglaries are typically spread out throughout the semester but the increase and proximity of the burglaries is what first alarmed the Tarleton Police Department. Although there are notices posted in the parking lots where the burglaries have taken place, this has not helped eliminate the activity. As of right now, every car that was reported broken into or stolen was left unlocked or the keys were visibly left inside of the car. 

“One car was taken from the Bosque parking garage and the other was taken from the parking lot across from the Bosque Crossing Apartments. We are currently fixing the lighting in those areas in hopes of discouraging any further burglaries in these areas,” University police chief, Matt Welch stated.

The first car that was reported stolen was taken, crushed and brought back. After its shocking return, another car was stolen and has yet to be located. The Tarleton State Police Department is currently investigating the burglaries and implementing new lights in hopes of decreasing the number of thefts on the Stephenville campus.

There are a number of ways to combat the issue at hand. First, make sure you don’t leave important things in the visible parts of your car. 

“They are taking money, valuable handbags and laptops. They are going for things that could easily be stuffed into a backpack. The burglars are opportunists so they are targeting vehicles that are unlocked with visible and valuable items in them,” Welch said. 

If you go shopping or plan to leave your purse, backpack or cash in your car, make sure to hide them in your trunk or glove compartment so you are less likely to be targeted. 

For students that are forced to park far away from campus, try to check your car every once in a while if you know you won’t move it for days at a time. Also, if the opportunity presents itself, move your car closer to your building or in a more well lit area on campus. 

If you can, try utilizing the buddy system to ensure that you are safe when traveling from your building to your car. If you are on campus alone this winter break, always let people know where you are going and how long you expect to be gone.

If you are feeling uneasy about walking across campus at night after a long night in the library, download Tapride. Tapride is the campus version of Uber. This student led safety precaution is available for students Sunday through Thursday.

If you ever need after hour assistance or witness any suspicious activity, call the control center number on the back of your Texan Card. Lock your cars and stay safe Texans!