By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
The ACU Police Department is investigating a series of break-ins and burglaries occurring on campus in the past two weeks.
Three car burglaries that occurred on the night of Oct. 29 and into the next day at Sherrod Park Apartments, Barret Hall and Smith and Adams Halls totaled $750 to $1,000 loss. Items taken were an iPod, Craftsman tools and an air compressor, stereo equipment and loose change. All vehicles were left unlocked.
ACU police chief Jimmy Ellison said tape at Barret Hall shows two unknown suspects trying door handles on cars as they passed by.
“It’s proof that if locked, your vehicle is much less likely to be targeted,” Ellison said.
Also, vehicle thefts of Gators have become common on campus. Ellison said thefts are not a typical prank of a golf cart being taken across campus.
“They are actual thefts of these pieces of equipment,” Ellison said. “We find them abandoned. The investigation thus far is active.”
“We’ve developed information that a group of local Abilene juveniles are involved in those thefts,” he said. “We linked the juveniles to the Gibson and Moody Coliseum thefts.”
Ellison said the department needs the help of the community to prevent crime, rather than dealing with it after the fact.
“Everyone assumes that if they see someone in a building they have permission to be there,” Ellison said. “We can’t be everywhere at once, so we depend on thousands in the ACU community to call in.”
The recent spike in crime may be more than just a short-term trend, Ellison said.
“It’s a sign the world’s changing around here,” Ellison said. “It’s not Mayberry anymore – not your grandma’s college.”