Break-ins become a problem on campus

Nine car break-ins and thefts have been reported on Lee's campus since students returned Aug. 14.

The Department of Campus Safety said most of the thefts have taken place at Storms Hall, Keeble Hall, Livingston Hall and Hicks Hall. A majority of the vehicles that have been broken into were left unlocked, although some windows were smashed, along with other forms of forced entry.

The first reported theft occurred Aug. 14 at Atkins-Ellis Hall.

Sophomore Jake Huff was a victim of the campus crime.

Huff 's jeep was parked at the library while on a soccer trip. When he returned on Aug. 22, he discovered his stereo had been stolen. The thieves also went through his console searching for other valuables.

As the thefts continue, both campus safety and the Cleveland Police Department are searching for suspects.

Director of Campus Safety Matthew Brinkman said, 'Since this is an ongoing investigation with local law enforcement, I cannot get into particulars about suspect information. I can say that we are working closely with the Cleveland Police Department to bring the offenders to justice.'

Brinkman encourages students to put any personal belongings or items of value in the trunk of the car any time the vehicle will be left unoccupied, even for short periods of time.

'Follow the whole 'out of sight, out of mind' principle. We also encourage students to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in parking lots," Brinkman said. "Don't get on your phone and talk or text when walking to and from your vehicle. Take a few extra seconds, and take note of your surrounding.'

Last semester, 17 high-definition cameras were installed to monitor parking lots on the north east end of campus. Due to the cameras, some of the break-ins have been captured on video.

"Usually around the summer, we have an increase in thefts. Unfortunately, Lee is a target. Many Lee students tend to leave valuables in their vehicles, whether in plain view or hidden," the Cleveland Police Department said in a statement. "When vehicle doors are unlocked, it then becomes a crime of opportunity. However, if valuables are in plain view, suspects will bust windows to take the items."

Once a break-in occurs and the student decides to file a report with the police, the camera footage is given to the detectives and all further investigation is handled by local law enforcement.

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