BY: WESLEY ROBINSON
As the Police Beats report more thefts, EKU Police wants students, faculty and staff to help prevent burglaries.
Between Jan. 1 and April 19, EKU Police has responded to eight second-degree burglary cases and three third-degree burglary cases, said Lt. Brandon Collins. Four of the second-degree cases were closed by arrest, three are unsolved and one was dismissed because it was an unfounded case. One of the third-degree cases have been closed by arrest, the other two remain open.
Collins said “solvability factors” determine how long it takes to solve a case. Such factors include whether there are suspects named by the victim, witnesses to the crime and serial numbers or identifiable markings.
“We work cases that have active leads first,” Collins said. “We will go back a few months after the others are reported to see if any new leads are available before we close them due to no solvability factors.”
EKU Police Chief Brian Mullins said negligence is the primary reason for most of the cases. He offered a common tip to students, faculty and staff: Don’t leave valuables unattended, lock offices and remove all valuables from vehicle and report suspicious activity.
“Just call us, even if you’re wrong [about a potential crime occurring] it’s OK, it’s what we are here for,” Mullins said. “Without a question, always report.”
Textbooks, smartphones, laptops and backpacks are some of the more commonly stolen items on campus. Mullins said more thefts happen toward the end of the semester because it’s easier for thieves to identify valuables when students are moving things from the dorms to their cars and leaving them unlocked for convenience.
Mullins said reporting that items have been stolen as quickly as possible helps police recover items, along with having identifiable information like serial numbers readily available.
“It’s hard to recover some of the [stolen property], but it does happen that we find it and the quicker we know about it the quicker we can work on finding it,” Mullins said.
He also said in order to press criminal charges or file with insurance it’s necessary to have some information about the stolen items or crime available.
“You’re not going to walk down to the county attorney’s office and file misdemeanor charges,” Mullins said. “If you’re going to do any kind of an insurance claim, you’re going to have to have some kind of documentation.”
Mullins said the biggest help the university community can provide alerting police to all potential issues.
“We get out and patrol and we try to be seen, but we can’t be everywhere,” Mullins said. “We depend on students, faculty, staff, everybody on campus. If you see something suspicious report it.”