A student comes back to campus after an enjoyable and relaxing time with family and friends over the holidays to find the dorm room door slightly open. Inside she finds her room in disarray. Drawers are pulled out and clothes are scattered like leaves across the entire room and, worst of all, some items have been stolen.
Although rare, dorm room burglary has happened at TJC. Campus police are familiar with this act, and steps are in place to ensure the safest environment possible.
“We have security measures in place,” said Campus Police Chief Randy Melton. “There’s cameras in the hallways of each of the dorms so we can go back and see video of who entered the room. Also, with these electronic locks, we can go back and read the lock through an electronic log,” said Melton.
Even with updated technology, students exhibit bad habits that can make an opportunity for burglary.
“I remember from one of our directors that there were some guys that came into the building, and people usually leave their doors propped open because they’re going to someone else’s room, and they went in and stole some stuff.” said Carlos Cordero, Resident Assistant at Ornelas Hall.
Living off-campus is a different story however. On Nov. 25, 2010 during the Thanksgiving holiday, 10 apartments were burglarized at Cambridge Apartments. All of the victims were out of town and away from their apartments when the crimes happened. The apartment complex has since changed its name to Village At the U.
Besides the obvious practice of locking the door, there are some other things that should be considered if going out of town while living on or off campus.
“Remember that crime is all about opportunity,” said Chief Melton. “Residential students that are going home for the holidays, be it Thanksgiving or Christmas, take your valuables with you. Anything like Ipods, laptops, and other electronic items, make sure you take down the model number and serial number and take those with you. (off-campus) If you know you’re going be gone long, obviously, you don’t want to leave signs that you’re gone,” said Melton. “Make sure to stop your newspaper, and mail or have a friend pick it up for you. You can even put timers in your house that can turn your lights on and off at certain times. Your place needs to have signs of being lived in.”