TCU police adjust patrols as campus grows

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    The addition of the Lubbock parking lot, coupled with recent crimes in the area, will not lead to an increase in the number of police officers in the area, said Lt. Ramiro Abad, head of the TCU police patrol division.

    Instead, the current police patrol routes and the time devoted to parking lot stakeouts will be adjusted, Abad said.

    Adjustments like these are already made daily as new incidents are reported to TCU police. Incidents like the theft of three catalytic converters from the Sandage and Lowden parking lots on Sept. 26 prompt a higher concentration of patrols in those areas, Abad said.

    Located at the southeast corner of campus, the Lubbock parking lot now provides another area where car break-ins can occur. Car burglaries are one of the university’s most common crimes, according to TCU police crime logs.

    “Car burglaries take 20 seconds. You drive by, you stop, roll up, break the window and grab what you see,” Abad said.  “We wish it didn’t happen, but it’s unfortunate, those things do happen.”

    “I don’t think the addition of the Lubbock lot caused us any concern,” TCU Police Cpl. Dave Loftis said. “The campus has taken steps to reduce crime, [and] make the crime more difficult to occur.”

    These steps include placing fencing around parking lots, installing additional lighting, and using higher concentrations of patrol officers compared to the city in an area of this size, Loftis said.

    The nature of crime on campus is very different from the greater Fort Worth area.

    According to TCU police crime logs, 84 crimes were reported on campus for the second quarter of 2012.  3927 crimes were reported in the Fort Worth City Council Ninth District, where the university is located, in the same time period, according to a quarterly report by Fort Worth police.  

    82 of the 84 reported crimes at the university were for property damage and theft. Two were assaults.

    “Property crimes are secondary,” Abad said. “It’s personal safety that we are concerned about.”

    The car burglaries could be deterred by students and campus visitors taking simple precautions, Loftis said.

    “The number one thing is to not leave your valuables in your car,” Loftis said. “A bag, a computer- these people will skip cars if there is nothing visible in the vehicle.”