Campus thefts cost students thousands

Alexandra Nicolas

Recent thefts from student vehicles have some wondering why greater security measures are not in place.

“I was pretty upset about it for the simple fact that they should have cameras back there, I really don’t like it but there’s nothing I can do about it,” said India Wood, senior general studies major.

Wood had two 12-inch subwoofers, one amplifier and approximately 30 CDs stolen from her car, parked at the north end of Lot 25, on Nov. 7.

Lot 25, behind the residence hall apartments has been the site of three reported car robberies in the past five weeks and has no security camera coverage.

“No, we don’t have a camera over there, but we should,” said Ken Kennedy, director of public safety. “We have no fiber [cables] over there. That’s what the system was based on.”

Kennedy blamed the lack of coverage on the heavy expense for running new cable coupled with the current budget situation.

“It’s make me feel pretty unsafe,” said Isaac Kirkpatrick, freshman business major and another victim of car audio theft.

Kirkpatrick said the break-in to his vehicle played a major role in his decision to transfer to Missouri State University for the 2009 academic year.

“Pretty much any holiday you don’t want to leave your car here because security isn’t going to watch it,” he said.

Dezmon Johnson, freshman marketing and management major, also parked at the north end of Lot 25, had similar audio equipment stolen along with $500 in cash and an iPod on Nov. 4. Thieves gained access to both Wood’s and Johnson’s cars by breaking out windows.

Kennedy said he believe the thefts are connected and though there are no current suspects, he is working with the Joplin Police Department on similar crimes in the area.

While Kennedy says it is possible the break-ins were the work of students, the nature of the crimes suggests younger individuals.

“Normally this kind of theft is perpetrated is by two or three young juvenile males,” Kennedy said, “It’s fairly risky, juveniles will typically do the more risky things.”

Currently none of the stolen items have been located.