There have been several reported instances of parts being stolen from vehicles on or immediately adjacent to campus in the last three weeks.
Incidents have occurred in the evenings and early morning hours on normal business days.
The specific target of these thefts appear to be the catalytic convertor, a portion of the exhaust system for vehicles given the valuable nature of their components and precious metals included in their assembly. Hybrid vehicles are especially vulnerable, given that the target components are worth more for these types of cars.
Unfortunately, vehicle based property crime is a a more frequent occurrence where there are large concentrations of parked cars. A college campus is similar to shopping malls and apartment complexes where this activity is also common. They are difficult crimes to prevent but here are some things to consider:
- If you observe suspicious behavior from individuals, please contact Campus Safety immediately. A helpful preventative measure is extra vigilance from the PLU community to coincide with extra Campus Safety patrol efforts.
- We encourage community members to report suspicious activity to our office via phone. Please be sure to make note of behavioral observations rather than appearance when qualifying suspicious activity.
- Based on previous incidents, the suspects commonly wander around parked cars, then appear to crouch near the vehicle as if they are looking for something on the ground, before sliding underneath a vehicle.
- We recommend parking in campus parking lots versus the street. The parking lots don’t guarantee your car will be safe but the extra lighting and camera coverage are helpful deterrents.
- If you store your car on campus be sure to check it periodically for damage/theft. Thieves often target vehicles that they notice are left unattended for extended periods of time.
- Narrowing the time frame down for incidents can also help with the investigation
Thank you for helping to keep PLU safe.
Campus Safety – 253-535-7441