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College Crime: Campus Break-Ins

Updated on July 17, 2012

Theft is a problem pretty much everywhere you go. On college campuses, it ranges from looting through dorm dumpsters on move-out day to breaking and entering the dorms themselves. Locked cars in campus parking lots aren't safe either. Smash-and-grabs and breaking-and-entering happens just as frequently as other types of crimes, if not more often. There are ways to stay safe as a general rule of thumb, but nothing can prevent crimes from happening altogether, especially in certain areas where the conditions are just right for it to happen.

Don't leave anything in plain sight, even if your room or car is locked. This is called a crime of opportunity. They see it, they take it, either to keep for themselves or to sell for money. While there is nothing illegal or objectionable about the pawn shop business, it stands to reason that a percentage of the items stolen from campus end up being sold at these establishments, especially in cities where there are numerous such shops in the vicinity of college campuses.

Just like the outside world as a whole, there aren't enough campus jobs to go around either, and college costs money - a lot of it. This does not excuse burglary, but it does put it in perspective. Also, some people are just kleptomaniacs and would do it even if they didn't need the money or the items in question.

Aside from violent crimes, which are also prominent on and around college campuses, petty theft is pretty much a given in the inner city. We all hear about it on the news or read about it in campus bulletins, and we all hope it doesn't happen to us. No one wants to be the victim of a mugging or worse, but no amount of precaution can ever guarantee that it won't ever happen to you. There isn't a lot the campus or local police can do either, but if you do not feel safe walking alone across campus at night, you can usually ask a campus safety patrol or police officer to accompany you from point A to point B.

It's also easy to forget or misplace things, especially in such stressful environments that colleges tend to be. Sometimes you'll get lucky once you retrace your steps and find your lost item either where you left it or in lost and found, and sometimes you'll never find it because someone has declared finder's keepers or thrown it out. Pay close attention to what's on your person and make sure you have everything you need before going anywhere (that's easier said than done). In short, the more organized and vigilant you are, the less likely you will be a victim of theft - but it can still always happen no matter what.


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