Security officer finds numerous unlocked vehicles

Security officer finds numerous unlocked vehicles

Security officer finds numerous unlocked vehicles

Nate Billings

Thieves may work at their profession, but when a person leaves a car unlocked, the work becomes easy.

During his nightly rounds, Department of Public Safety officer Dennis Garrison took the initiative to survey by eye any vehicles on the residential side of campus that were unlocked. This is after he saw several windows on vehicles rolled down.

Garrison did not try the vehicles handles, but looked to see if a vehicle was unlocked or not, keeping a mental record of the count.

Out of 126 vehicles, 84 were unlocked.

“I would love if everyone would lock their cars,” said Ken Kennedy, DPS manager.

Kennedy said the number of unlocked vehicles was surprising to him.

“Locking their vehicles would drastically reduce the chances that they will be broken into,” he said.

Kennedy said the department has not seen as many thefts during this semester as it did during the fall semester. This was due to the apprehension of a group of people breaking into vehicles in the area by the Joplin Police Department.

He said people become too comfortable in an area with little crime.

“People get complacent,” Kennedy said.

The night shift officers patrol the campus to keep watch, but much of their time is spent making sure building doors are closed.

Kennedy said students leave the doors of the residence halls propped open to let friends in.

“Students should never do that,” he said. “It’s not safe for any student.”

Kennedy said students should take care to hide valuables if they are left in a vehicle and to keep the doors locked.

Several students agree with this logic.

“It’s not very smart to leave your door unlocked,” said Atiba Bradley, junior math education major. “There are too many wandering eyes and hands.”

Bradley said he does not live on campus, but did say he still takes precautions to keep his valuables safe.

Josh Eckerman, junior biology major, said he too takes precautions even though he is not a resident student.

“You shouldn’t leave things in plain site,” he said.

Students on campus said leaving doors unlocked is unsafe.

“I think it’s kind of stupid,” said Warren Beck, freshman undecided major. “If you have a car, you should keep it locked up at all times.”

Others have the same sentiment as Beck.

“It could become a problem,” said Amy Eldridge, freshman computer graphics major. “I’m too paranoid to even think about it. Personally, it should be a no-nonsense safety precaution.”

Kennedy said he would like students to take more care in locking their vehicles, and he thanks Garrison for bringing this problem to his attention.

“He’s (Garrison) has been a very good addition to the DPS force,” Kennedy said.