UAPD offering rental checks during break

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Graphic by Michael Schwartz

By William Singer, News Editor

The Department of Off-Campus Student Services and UAPD are teaming up to prevent burglaries over winter break.

Students can sign up to have their homes periodically checked throughout the break to make sure that they are not victims of a breaking and entering or burglary.

The program was started in 2009 to address the cyclical spike in residential burglaries which occurred over winter break, according to Director of Off-Campus Student Services Eric Green. The service expanded to Thanksgiving and spring break in 2010.

“The neighborhoods south and east of campus had a couple of historical burglary sprees before 2009 where a small group of people were responsible for multiple burglaries in a small geographic area during the winter break period,” Green said.

According to Green, when students are away from their homes for several weeks, detection and investigation of these crimes is often delayed until the students returned from break to find that their homes have been burglarized.

The delay in reporting these crimes meant that there was a good chance the burglars would never be apprehended.

The ultimate goal of the program is to make the areas near campus a more difficult place to commit crimes during breaks.

“If we can make the whole area a hard target with programs that prevent crime, provide early detection and investigation and have students implement some of the prevention tips, then we can collectively minimize losses and property damage and keep our neighborhood safe,” Green said.

The best way for students to prevent burglaries when they are away from home is to install an alarm system with a verified response monitoring system. If a window is broken or a door is forced open, the alarm will sound Green explained.

Residents should also make an effort to make their homes look lived in, according to Green. This keeps criminals guessing if anyone is home.

“Put lights on timers, stop the mail, have a trusted neighbor park a car in your driveway and make tracks in the snow to the doors,” said Green.

Students can register to have their homes checked all throughout winter break, which begins Saturday, Dec. 13. The service is free and students can fill out an online form to sign up on the Off-Campus Student Services website.