Bike heists persist

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Crimes against property such as electronic equipment is still a concern, but safety officials say that the campus is safe.

Despite reassurance from officials, an updated crime statistic shows that larcenies and thefts are still a problem around campus.

“There is a misguided stigma that this school has of not being as safe as other schools, says Lt. James Wooley of campus security. “But Santa Ana College is a safe place.”

Staff was notified Tuesday of a tablet missing from room A-219, which was the second incident regarding missing equipment since February. A report was filed with campus safety Thursday. There have been few thefts in the two computer art labs over the last decade, department officials said.

District crime statistics show 32 larcenies from vehicles at SAC compared to two at Santiago Canyon College in 2011. Wooley said that students can rely on staff security to keep their property safe, but thefts continue to occur.

“New security measures are being put in place to prevent future loss of expensive digital equipment that supports instruction,” said Sylvia Turner, dean of fine and performing arts.

In addition to the larcenies, three middle college high school students were robbed at gunpoint behind the bookstore last July.

Even though the gun turned out to be fake, surveillance cameras were added after the incident and following a string of bicycle thefts across campus.

Campus security has since added new bike racks, but has left one in front of staff parking between Hammond Hall and Russell Hall unattached to the ground. Despite the series of thefts, students continue to lock their bikes to that rack.

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With individual bicycles being stolen, there emerges the possibility of an entire rack being stolen.

“The main reason for the bike thefts is that the owners are not properly securing their property with stronger padded locks,” Wooley said.

Security has discovered numerous bicycles left unlocked at racks around campus. For some students, officers took it upon themselves to secure their bikes in the security office.

“Obviously, we can’t house 30 or so bikes,” says Wooley, “but if we can accommodate two or four, we will”

For the past three years, there have been no fewer than 20 larcenies from vehicles at SAC. At SCC, that same statistic has not been higher than two.

“Security can only do so much,” says SAC student Maria Berez. “Responsibility really falls on the students to lock up their bikes properly.


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