The front door was wide open, and the back door was splintered with the heavy-duty padlock lying on the ground.
A cool January evening of movie watching turned into an evening filled with flashing blue lights and police sirens.
Junior education major Justin Tubbs said his heart sank when he realized he had been the victim of a robbery.
Tubbs lives next to the Kroger on Rogers Avenue, and he said his house was broken into along with both of his neighbors.
“The back door was busted open, kicked in and it was splintered everywhere,” Tubbs said. “I looked around and outback, and there was nobody around. I immediately went looking for my laptop, and it was gone.”
Tubbs’ story is not uncommon for TCU students choosing to live off campus.
According to the Fort Worth Police Department website, 123 crimes have been reported within a two mile radius of the TCU campus this month. The 123 crimes represent a steep increase in crimes compared to March.
Of those 123 crimes, 63 have been reported as theft, burglary or car break-ins.
By comparison, on;y 107 crimes were commited in March. Just 10 and 14 crimes were reported in February and January respectively.
Sgt. Kelly Ham of the TCU police department said thieves see students as easy targets.
“A lot of [students] have their cars broken into. They get a feeling of security as [long] as their car is just out front,” Ham said. “They will leave something of value in the car, and that’s all it takes for a thief to see something of value to break in.”
Ham says he encourages students to study the Fort Worth crime statistics to make sure they are not signing a lease for a home in a high crime area.
“I would go on the Fort Worth PD website and check for the crimes in the area because some neighborhoods are definitely safer than others,” Ham said.
However, crimes are not limited to just certain areas.
Tubbs’ address on Rogers Avenue is in a statistically safe neighborhood, but the robbery to Tubbs’ home is proof that crime can happen anywhere at any time.
Tubbs recalls living in the dorms when he could leave his door unlocked at any time.
“I know in the dorms, I used to just leave the front door open all the time, unlocked and nothing ever happened,” Tubbs said. “Ever since the break in, I am always thinking are they watching my house? Are they seeing when I am here and when I am gone?”
Ham said that if an emergency does arise, students should first call the Fort Worth police, and if students live within several blocks of campus, call the TCU Police, as well.
“We will respond if it’s an emergency, and a lot of times, we can get their quicker than Fort Worth [police],” he said.
Ham said that he would recommend the areas north and west of campus if students are opting for an off-campus location.
“West and north are better neighborhoods than south and east,” Ham explained. “If you go south and then a couple of blocks further south, there are some blocks that have a pretty high crime rate.”
In comparison to the areas around the campus, TCU police have reported three on-campus theft related crimes in their April crime log.