A series of car burglaries that took place on the same night has left ACUPD looking for a suspect.
On the night of Sept. 20, three students’ cars were broken into and multiple items were stolen from each, said Jimmy Ellison, ACUPD police chief.
“We are actively investigating the incident, but we don’t have any leads or suspects right now,” Ellison said.
ACUPD responded to six car burglaries in the month of September. Three of those happened on the same night in the parking lot of Smith Hall and Adams Hall. The suspect walked in front of security cameras outside the dorm several times, which allowed police to pinpoint what time the burglaries occurred, as well as see what the suspect was wearing. However, not enough of his face was visible to identify him.
Between the hours of 3:30 and 4:40 a.m., security cameras captured a white or Hispanic male wearing green shorts, an oversized gray shirt and a dark baseball cap breaking into cars in the Smith Adams parking lot. He arrived on foot, stayed in the lot for about an hour and then stole a bike from a bike rack in order to leave quickly.
According to Ellison, the perpetrator was not only caught on camera.
“You can see on the footage two different residents of Smith Adams coming and going from the dorm, but nobody reported him,” Ellison said.
This was the most frustrating part of the incident, Ellison said.
“We have to get students acclimated to reporting suspicious activity. We’d rather respond to a call and have everything be fine than find three cars broken into the next morning,” he said.
In order to keep himself from being noticed, the suspect held his phone up to his ear whenever someone passed by, pretending to talk to someone. When the people passed by, he went back to working on the car he was breaking into.
The first car the suspect broke into was not locked. Ellison warned against this practice for all students.
“We’re not even making them work hard to steal things from cars if they’re unlocked,” Ellison said.
From the first car, the suspect took an iPod Touch, iPod classic and a TomTom navigation system, a total of $600 in losses.
The suspect then moved to the second car where he tried to steal it by tampering with the steering column. When that did not work, he took a pair of running shoes from the trunk of the car, which was later recovered nearby. Next the suspect tried the third and final car where he rifled through bags and took cash and the dashboard stereo along with other items that totaled $300 in losses.
There are many things to do to prevent having a car broken into such as locking the doors and not keeping valuables inside of it. While some students may worry about this happening to them, Macie Dunn, sophomore kinesiology major from San Antonio and resident of Smith Adams, is not too concerned.
“I don’t have anything of value in my car anyway,” she said.