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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA plans system to curb high crime rate

    Lauren Murphy, an undeclared freshman, unlocks her bicycle in front of the Modern Languages building after class yesterday. UAPD officials are working to curb property theft on campus, offering options for students looking to secure their possessions.
    Lauren Murphy, an undeclared freshman, unlocks her bicycle in front of the Modern Languages building after class yesterday. UAPD officials are working to curb property theft on campus, offering options for students looking to secure their possessions.

    When Karl Magendavid woke up one morning in the beginning of the semester, he found someone had stolen his bike from outside his residence hall.

    A few weeks later, someone else stole the handle light off of his new replacement bike.

    Magendavid, a pre-business freshman, is not alone: The UA ranks second in property crimes for the nation’s biggest universities for the year 2005, according to an FBI report released last week.

    The University of Arizona Police Department reported 1,522 crimes, such as theft, auto theft, bike theft, criminal damage, burglary and arson, according to statistics on the department’s Web site.

    In an attempt to protect student property, the UA libraries and the University of Arizona Police Department are coming up with new way to curb theft.

    The UA is setting up a video-surveillance system to monitor all parts of the main library, said Hayri Yildirim, interim director of library facilities.

    The system should be up and running in the next two weeks.

    Some cameras have already been placed to oversee the UA Main Library’s front doors and are working well, said Dave Baca, director of communications and marketing for the libraries.

    Frank Romero, a UAPD officer, said UAPD is doing everything it can to help students protect the things they own.

    For example, Romero said UAPD has a deal with Masterlock to offer $13 U-locks for bicycles and $10 steering-wheel locks. The department also works with Parking and Transportation Services to register bikes on campus.

    “”I’m trying to take away excuses as to why students don’t protect their property,”” Romero said.

    But Baca said that whatever precautions are in place, student carelessness is the biggest factor in what gets stolen or damaged.

    “”I walk through the library all the time, and I walk by desks with computers, backpacks and purses just sitting out there,”” Baca said.

    Advantages

    • Receive 15 percent off on selected bicycle supplies/services from participating bike shops
    • Provides a record of ownership
    • Acts as documentation for your insurance carrier
    • Aids authorities in locating the owner of a stolen bike
    • Free lock-cutting service for UA-registered bikes on campus

    Registration is free

    • Available to UA students, faculty, staff, visitors
    • Lock cuts: Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Registration is available at Parking and Transportation Services, 1117 E. Sixth Street.

    – information taken from http://parking.arizona.edu

    Magendavid said he did not lock his first bike on the day it was stolen, but now he always locks up his new bike.

    He also registered his new bike with UAPD, in a process he described as “”super easy.””

    Officer Romero said the statistics from the FBI report may be misleading. The high numbers may mean that a higher percentage of crimes are reported, not necessarily that there are more crimes.

    Romero said he thinks the UA isn’t any worse than other universities when it comes to theft or property damage.

    “”I think students are the same no matter where you go,”” Romero said.

    While Romero acknowledged that the report presents a problem for the UA’s public perception, he said he thinks most students feel like their possessions are safe on campus.

    Dan Tuttle, a senior majoring in international studies and economics, said he wasn’t especially worried about leaving his bike on campus.

    “”Compared to places I’ve been, it seems pretty safe,”” Tuttle said.

    The report, which ranked schools with more than 20,000 students based on the statistics given to the FBI by university police departments, names the University of California at Los Angeles as the only school with higher statistics than the UA.

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