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-BI11I 'J I !4 'A S'fi U 3 0 !j y CM 'w 1 ! ; The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, November 29, 1 9895
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Students fail to lock up against
By CHERYL ALLEN and MARA LEE
he calculus midterm, 24 chapters in British litera
ture, parking space shortage, rising tuition, loud
roommate and ... campus crime?
Students have so many other concerns that they often
forget to protect their personal property, making them
easy targets for thieves. From book theft to auto vandal
ism, crime on campus threatens students more than they
Crimes of opportunity
Statistics show that college students are more fre
quently victims of property crimes than violent crimes.
About 90 percent of approximately 600 crimes reported to
University police in 1988 were theft-related crimes such
as robbery, breaking and entering, vehicle theft and
Most thefts occur when a student "leaves a backpack
lying on a rock wall, on a table in the library, beside a
basketball court in the gym," said Sgt. Ned Comar, crime
Robbery is even more predominant in residence halls.
"In every incident that I've had, the room was unlocked,"
said Wayne Kuncl, director of the housing department.
'The room is usually vacant."
Money, wallets, purses and jewelry are usually the
targets, he said..
The situation is similar at the University of Florida at
Gainesville (UF), which has a student population of ap
proximately 30,000. Out of roughly 1,400 crimes reported
at UF in 1988, 1,200 were robberies.
Angie Tipton, spokesperson for the university police at
UF, said "crimes of opportunity" are the norm. A thief
apprehended at UF told Tipton it takes only eight seconds
to enter a room, steal small valuables and exit.
About 75 percent of the crimes at UF are committed by
non-students, Tipton said.
Library theft is another popular campus crime. Ac
cording to Tipton: "We try to get students to be aware
that book bags are a big commodity for thieves.
Students today have a tremendous amount of credit
cards, and they (thieves) know that."
; But theft isn't the only crime on campus. UNC Student
Legal Services (SLS), which gives advice to students on
legal matters, sees many criminal cases. "We see a lot of
DWI (driving while impaired), indecent exposure,
larceny, arson, communicating threats and harassing
phone calls," said Dorothy Bernholz, attorney and director
Fake IDs also have become a big problem since the
drinking age was raised to 21 in 1986, Bernholz said.
That's probably the trendiest crime."
- Students are arrested for a variety of offenses, includ
ing shoplifting, alcohol-related offenses, assaults and
fighting, said Jane Cousins, Chapel Hill police planner. A
few students have been arrested for rape, she said.
Most of the students are first offenders, she said, but
that makes no difference to police officers. "They have
committed a crime. We treat them the same whether it
was a first offense or not," Cousins said.
Although serving time in jail is rare on a first offense
;or a misdemeanor, students have gone to jail for more
;serious drug charges, Bernholz said.
Students often are the culprits in incidents of
vandalism and theft of University property. According
to Comar, "Vandalism has been done to elevators in
high rises ... (Such vandalism) ruins the quality 'of life
it costs everybody to replace this stuff."
Hitting close to home
But students are frequently more concerned with
crimes involving their own property.
John Brock, a sophomore business major from Clyde,
had his car window broken and Clarion car stereo
stolen last fall. The car was parked in St. Thomas More
Catholic Church parking lot overnight. Three months
and $350 later, his car was back to normal, he said.
'They tried to get my speakers and amplifier. That
would've cost me another $500."
Joe Bedell, a sophomore speech communications
major from Fayetteville, N.Y., had his stereo stolen in
October while his car was parked for three hours at
"I walked down to my car and there were two guys in
the car behind mine complaining that their stereo had
been stolen too," he said.
Melissa Tuttle, a junior recreation administration
major from Stoneville, returned from Spring Break last
year to learn that her Mazda RX7 had been stolen.
She said she had lent the car to a friend, who left it
parked overnight in Ram's Head parking lot. When he
returned in the morning, the car was gone.
It turned up three days later in the parking lot by the
law school, but the dashboard was ripped and the Alpine
stereo was missing.
"I was crushed," Tuttle said. "I felt violated."
Tuttle was the victim of another theft when $20 was
stolen from her room one night while she slept. That
same night, her suite mate woke up to see a man rifling
through her desk. The man fled when she saw him.
"That's when we started locking our door,"-Tuttle said.
M ugging prompts n igh t escorts
By VICKI HYMAN
Youdon't have to be walking alone,
late at night, on secluded and dark:
Morri son Wal k to be a v ictim of cr i me.
Last September, two female stu
dents were walking to Carmichael
Residence Hall around 2 a.m. when
right in front of the dormitory,
under the bright glare of the street
lights a man approached them with
a gun and stole their pocketbooks.
"We were parked in front of Teague
and heading up towards Carmichael,"
said "Beth," a junior who asked that
her real name not be used. "There was
a guy who came up to us; and he
looked like a football player. We
thought he was looking for a dorm or
needed directions, and we were like,
'What do you want?' And then he
stuck a gun out at us.
"We were pretty close. We didn't
even breathe" she said. "He told us to
hand him our pocketbooks and to keep
walking and don't look back."
Beth said she and her friend broke
down once inside the dorm. "We
walked into the dorm and then ran
upstairs and told the people in the
lounge. They thought we were lying,
that it was an unbelievable story ...
They don't believe it can happen."
Junior Jerry Edwards, a political
science major from Chapel Hill, was
there when the two women ran in. "I
remember they came running down
the hallway ... Beth came up and I saw
she was crying, so I asked her what
was the matter," he said. "When she
told me, I thought she was joking. But
I realized she wasn't, and I called the
RA (resident assistant) on duty and the
Beth and her friend went to the po
lice station, where they stayed until
5:30 a.m., looking at mug shots and
trying to identify the mugger. The po
, lice ascertained that the mugger was a
black male, about 6 feet tall and 200
Police officers found the pocket
books in a dumpster behind a shopping
center in Carrboro. A total of $ 1 1 0 had
Beth said the shock of the mugging
finally hit her the next day. "I started
thinking, 'Oh my God. When we turned
around, he could have shot us or some
thing.' I think we were very lucky that
he only took our money. You don't
know he could have raped us or
Beth now would like to see a SAFE
escort program set up for each resi
dence area. "There would be more re
sponsibility for each dorm make the
district more aware of what's happen
ing," she said. "It happened at
Carmichael, (where) you don't think it
would be dangerous ... It shows you it
can happen anywhere. You have to be
Reacting to the mugging, Wing
Siew, a junior biology major from
Malaysia, decided to set up an escort
service for the UNITAS hall in
Carmichael. The escort program
started last year with 20 student vol
unteers and has grown to 44 volun
teers this year. "It's been working
pretty well," Siew said "We've had
"Since this (UNITAS) is a living
and learning program, people here
are in close contact with one an
other," he said. "It's a different kind
of dorm community. Neighbors know
each other. I decided to set up this
escort service so that people on this
hall would help one another."
The primary purpose of the UNI
TAS escort service is to provide resi
dents with walking partners, Siew
said. "Strength comes in numbers.
Five people can't stop a bullet, but
five people feel more secure than
Siew pointed out that anyone could
be the victim of a crime, not just fe
males. "A lot of people males in
particular late at night, don't feel
they want to bother anyone. They
think, 'It's not big deal, I'll just walk
home.' That's not bravery; it's stu
pidity," Siew said. "You could be
lucky, but it's not safe at night."
Paul Deavers, a sophomore eco
nomics major from Charlotte and a
member of the UNITAS escort serv
ice, said the program was very effec
tive and necessary at UNC "The
biggest danger is robbery. Everyone
can get robbed," he said.
Deavers said he felt the program
benefited him as well as those he
escorted. "It makes you feel good in
yourself to know that you can help
someone across campus safely and to
know that you could have prevented
a rape or attack from happening," he
Students often are slow to lake responsibility for the J
protection of their possessions, Tipton said. "Mom and
Dad are taking care of all the security measures at home,"
she said. "They're on their own for the first time. A lot of
our students have not been touched by crime, and they
tend to have the feeling that crime can never happen to
After the fact j;
Reporting a crime is the best recourse for victims, t
Cousins said. "We can't solve it if it's not reported."
Comar advised that students be assertive in protect-
ing their belongings.offered similar advice. "Lock the
door while sleeping," he said. "Have a secure place to
store small valuable items, and keep it locked with a
padlock. Keep your gym locker locked while in the
shower. Lock your bike with a big heavy cable. Don't
put your stuff down." '.
Rutledge Tufts, director of UNC Student Stores, sug-
gested that students keep a closer eye on their books. "
"Most books get stolen right near exam time. Make sure "
you have identifying marks in it." Tufts recommended -that
students mark their books on a certain page, in
addition to writing their name or social security number
on the book.
But police were skeptical that most students would take
preventive measures and reduce crime. "I know they're
going to keep doing it (leaving books unattended),"
Comar said. "They've been doing it since time began." ;
Taking a bite out of crime :
The housing department has attempted to make many
residence halls safer by installing self-locking deadbolts
on the bathroom doors in some dormitories. '
Last spring, deadbolts were installed on STOW area's -bathroom
doors, and the housing department now is
considering installing similar locks on all women's '
bathrooms in the Olde Campus area. '
Carrie Turcogeorge, area director at Ehringhaus,
organized a safety forum to discuss other solutions to f
the problem of security at Ehringhaus. ; ,
Turcogeorge said she was concerned about strangers
having easy access to South Campus residence halls, .s
"Even if we're doing everything we can, as soon as a '
student lets in someone who isn't supposed to be here, J
everything we've done goes to pot," she said. ;
According to Keith Fowler, South Campus mainte-
nance supervisor, computer-monitored doors are in a
trial phase at Craige Residence Hall. The computer
reads a card at the main entrance and service doors ancjC
opens the door for handicapped students presently '.'I
living there. The door automatically locks behind therrw
One advantage of this system is that it gives a '
computer readout at the desk of who entered the
building at what time, he said. However, the system
probably will not be implemented immediately at other
residence halls because of the cost. X
The big challenge is getting residents to participate in
crime prevention and safety, Turcogeorge said. She
now is posting signs which encourage residents to locH
their doors and carry their keys. ;
While the signs may scare some people, the fear is ;
worth it, said Amy Smith, a senior industrial relations'
and sociology major from Forest City. "If it takes ;
scaring people so they don't prop the doors open, thenj
scare them," she said.