A student’s truck was stolen from the Mabee Hall and Edwards Hall parking lot Oct. 8, one development in the rash of motor vehicle-related crimes during the past month.
The Ford F-150 crew cab pickup was reported stolen on Oct. 9 by owner Justin Rasco, freshman criminal justice major from Frisco. Rasco discovered the vehicle was missing at 6:45 p.m. Jones County Sheriff department recovered the vehicle the next weekend after discovering it abandoned on a remote county road in Jones County.
“First I was really shocked because that’s something you don’t expect to happen to you until it does,” Rasco said. “They didn’t break a window, so it was probably unlocked.”
Before the motor vehicle theft, several car break-ins that took place at various student dormitories were under police investigation.
“The motor vehicle theft was a little bit of a game-changer for us,” said ACU police chief Jimmy Ellison. “Because now, other than the run-of-the-mill person breaking into a car and stealing whatever he could find, we had an issue with someone actually stealing the vehicle.”
The ACU Police Department is actively following up on leads dealing with suspects regarding the thefts and investigating the crimes, Ellison said.
“We began to aggressively investigate it and have developed some proving leads and a possible suspect in the case,” Ellison said. “We employed some other tactics – increased patrols, assigned some officers out on overtime, saturated patrols, surveillance of certain areas and extensive review of camera footage from the network of cameras across campus.”
Ellison said most vehicle break-ins involve unlocked cars with valuables visible on the inside. It is vital that students do their part in protecting their possessions by locking their vehicles, removing valuable items and never leaving an extra set of keys inside the vehicle, he said.
“This is another great example that we, the police department, can’t do this alone,” Ellison said. “The police department can’t be the first line of defense. The students and employees who park their vehicles on and around campus have to be the first line of defense.”