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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA campus car break-ins going up

    The number of reported car break-ins for the month of January on the UA campus was 19 – eight more than last January – and this increase is a warning sign for students to better protect their cars, campus police said.

    In November and December of last year, 39 car break-ins were reported, while only 14 were reported during the same months in 2005.

    The fact that the UA has thousands of cars on campus throughout the day makes it a target for thieves, said Sgt. Eugene Mejia, University of Arizona Police Department spokesman.

    “”I don’t try to park higher than the second story, and I try to park really close to the ends where people drive by a lot now.””
    – Leon Kim, pre-business senior

    “”If you are interested in stealing cars, you go where there are lots of cars,”” Mejia said.

    Angela Peiffer, a biochemistry junior, said someone broke into her car while she was working in the cancer center of the University Medical Center in January.

    “”I was on the phone with my mom and walking to my car, and I noticed that the center console inside my car was open,”” Peiffer said. “”I didn’t remember leaving it open when I left.””

    The burglar pried open one of Peiffer’s front doors and cut out her stereo, which was a Christmas present from her boyfriend.

    The face plate of the stereo was in the center console, and that was taken as well.

    The burglar also rummaged around in the car but didn’t take anything else, Peiffer said.

    “”It makes you really nervous because someone is in your stuff,”” she said.

    When the burglar cut out her stereo, the air conditioning was also ruined, and Peiffer now has to get it fixed.

    “”I was also really nervous because I had my address taped on a box in the car and a bunch of cheerleading posters in the back seat,”” Peiffer said.

    Leon Kim, a pre-business senior, also had his car broken into in January.

    His car was parked on one of the upper levels in the Cherry Street Parking Garage during an evening basketball game, and when he returned around 11:30 p.m, the driver’s side window was broken.

    Nothing was stolen from Kim’s car, but he noticed the gas tank was open so he suspected someone was trying to get into the trunk.

    “”I had a lot of stuff in the back seat,”” Kim said. “”I’m surprised nothing was taken.””

    Kim called 911 to report the break-in and was transferred to UAPD, who took the report.

    “”I don’t try to park higher than the second story, and I try to park really close to the ends where people drive by a lot now,”” Kim said.

    In January, the area of North Highland Avenue and East Speedway Boulevard had the most reports of car break-ins, parking lots near East Helen Street and East Speedway Boulevard came in second, and the area around North Freemont Avenue and North Park Avenue had the third-highest number of break-ins, Mejia said.

    There are a number of things students can do to help protect their cars from thieves, Mejia said.

    Make sure there are no personal or valuable items visible from the outside of the car.

    Also, having a steering wheel lock can prevent your car from being stolen and might also scare thieves away from breaking in at all.

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