Daily 49er

Your car could be at risk of auto theft

Increasing trend of auto burglaries have piqued campus interest in finding security alternatives.

Auto+burglaries+have+increased+in+parking+lots+across+campus.
Auto burglaries have increased in parking lots across campus.

Auto burglaries have increased in parking lots across campus.

Jasmine Hamilton

Jasmine Hamilton

Auto burglaries have increased in parking lots across campus.

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Cal State Long Beach students may need to look into taking the bus as car burglaries in the parking lots are becoming more common.

An increase in auto burglaries has caught the attention of the University Police Department. According to Lt. Richard Goodwin, there were about half a dozen burglaries in Parking Structures 1 and 2 over the course of a month.

Matt Dunton, a second-year psychology major, suggested more attention toward parking enforcement.

“I feel safe parking on campus,” Dunton said. “[Parking enforcement] could get a few more cars roaming around, catching thieves so everybody’s car is more safe.”

According to Goodwin, the items stolen in the recent auto burglaries were car batteries and personal property. Parking enforcement officers have also increased patrols in light of the crimes. Despite the increasing thefts, students say they still feel safe parking on campus, but would still desire more precautionary measures from parking enforcement in the lots.

Tiffany Lam, a second year health science major, said she only worries about parking on campus at a certain time of day.

“When it gets dark and there are less cars in the school parking lots is when I actually start to worry about my car and the possibility of it being broken into,” Lam said. “I think that the parking enforcement should monitor the parking lots and structures more. It’s kind of scary.”

Installing cameras has been offered as a possible alternative to protect cars from being burglarized. However the cost of such equipment is expensive.

“As for camera placement in the structures, this is a viable idea and one with definite merit,” Goodwin said. “It is being addressed and a solution is pending. Such endeavors are costly, which is always a factor. That is not to say that the cost outweighs the good of such equipment. There are factors to weigh, such as placement, number of cameras necessary and privacy.”

According to Ted Kadowaki, associate vice president of budgeting and university services, the campus is on-board with cameras in the parking structures.

“The campus is indeed currently looking into installing cameras in the parking structures,” Kadowaki said. “I believe we are getting cost estimates as we speak. I think with three large structures and multiple floors, we’re probably easily in the $100,000 range if not more.”

Dunton agrees anything could potentially improve parking safety, even the costly camera alternative.

“I think more cameras because if the guy does get away, you have a camera to find out who he is [and] where he goes,” Dunton said. “If there are more personnel, it doesn’t have to come to that.”

For the time being, Goodwin suggests students and faculty put all belongings into the trunks of their cars, or bring them along.

“Securing personal property out of site from the outside is a helpful measure to protect your property,” Goodwin said. “By the way, putting a jacket over the laptop computer on the seat is not a good security measure. Many of the thieves know this trick. Secure property in the trunk or take them with you.”

Staff writer Payton Cōplin contributed to the research in this story.

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