” University of Akron student Zac Kasparek awoke at his home at approximately 9 a.m. on Sept. 21 to discover that he had been the victim of a robbery. Kasparek lives in a house very close to campus. They came in through a window that had an air conditioner in it.””
University of Akron student Zac Kasparek awoke at his home at approximately 9 a.m. on Sept. 21 to discover that he had been the victim of a robbery.
Kasparek lives in a house very close to campus.
They came in through a window that had an air conditioner in it. I was home when it happened, Kasparek explained.
Most people lock their doors and windows when they leave their house and feel confident that it is secure from break-ins.
However, what happened to Kasparek proves that locking the doors and windows is sometimes not enough.
Many people don’t realize that even though they lock their doors, they may be leaving an unsecured air conditioner in a window, leaving a potential robber with easy access into their home.
To secure an air conditioner, have a wood or metal frame fitted around the unit and secure it to the window frame with sturdy screws.
This makes it significantly more difficult to enter through the window. Many robbers are simply able to push in or lift out an air conditioner from outside because of insecure installation.
The Web site www.consumerreports.org recommends reinforcing windows with a transparent window-security film and placing a sturdy bar in the track of any sliding doors to make them more difficult to force open.
If a house looks like nobody has been in it for an extended period of time, it is more vulnerable to robbery.
Many students are away from their campus houses for days at a time to visit their parents or to go back to their hometown for holidays.
To make an extended absence less obvious, the Web site suggests arranging for a neighbor or friend to shovel snow from the driveway or mow the lawn and take your mail and newspaper into their home each day.
It also advises leaving at least one car parked in the driveway if possible.
When Kasparek looked through his house that morning, he realized that his game console was stolen, along with his roommate’s DVDs.
The robber even took Kasparek’s keys from inside his home and drove off with his car.
At first I thought it was a joke, but then it started to sink in, he said.
So far this semester, two robberies have been reported to UAPD. They both occurred off campus in the areas south of Exchange Street in September.
According to Major Newt Engle, this is an average number for this time of year.
In September 2008, there were a total of two robberies for the month.
We find even one unacceptable, he said of the police department.
We take robberies and break-ins very seriously.
Engle explained that robberies are more than just having one’s possessions taken.
He said discovering that a stranger had been in their home is very unnerving to people and can devastate their sense of security.
We’re just so glad that the ones we have had haven’t resulted in injury, he added.
Kasparek spoke of the paranoia he now experiences when leaving his house.
When I leave my house now I have to check the locks at least twice.
While walking around outside, Engle advises using the age-old safety precaution, which is safety in numbers.
Even if you can have just one other person walking with you, it greatly reduces the chance of getting approached by a robber, he said.