BGSU gets hit with car break-ins

By Candice Jones and Freddy Hunt

A hockey stick, sunglasses, hunting gloves, iPods and a whole slew of stereos – gone.

On Jan. 24, the University grounds crew were making their rounds through Lot 6 when they found several damaged student cars that had obviously been looted. Campus police were called to the lot near the east end of campus where they found at least 20 damaged student vehicles.

As of yesterday, the campus police had one suspect who they believe is connected to the break-ins and are still searching for more. They have contacted the suspect, a man from Toledo, and are trying to recover some of the stolen property.

Police also reported two vandalisms in Lot 8 on the same day. Both of those cars were missing stereos and had been damaged by the perpetrator.

Freshman Justin Albright is one of the students who lost property in Lot 6 when his car was vandalized. His Chevy Malibu was missing a door lock, radio, two sub-woofers and an amplifier. Since the vandalism, he’s moved his car off campus.

“It makes you wonder how safe you are on campus,” he said.

Like many students, since Albright lives on campus, his parking pass only allows him to park in certain lots. But now he wonders if it’s safe.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if another incident happened,” he said.

Incidents like this, said Campus Police Chief John Wiegand, are unavoidable.

“BG is a relatively safe campus, but crime does occur,” he said.

He noted that traffic from Interstate 75 can spot the large parking lot as a target but he said the police patrol the area as best they can.

“The only way to prevent that is to put a cop in the lot 24 hours a day, and there is no police department that can do that,” Wiegand said.

Members of Undergraduate Student Government met with Wiegand yesterday to discuss the vandalism. One topic of discussion was increasing manpower on surveillance. The University has cameras in Lot 6 which are meant to curb crime. But the cameras are more effective if someone is manning the monitor.

USG At-Large Senator Johnnie Lewis said one solution is to have more student monitors to fill in. He wanted to encourage students not to be discouraged from taking the job because the late shift hours are intimidating.

Nick Gamero, USG Minority Affairs Senator, agreed.

“It’s a late shift but it definitely prevents the chances of this happening again,” he said.

Gamero added that he thinks the campus police are still doing a good job patrolling on campus.