Nine car burglaries have occurred in Parking Structure 6 (PS6), located beneath Wilbur Field, since early June, including three break-ins that have occurred in the last two weeks. The method of entry has been smashing windows, and items stolen were primarily GPS devices, according to William Larson, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Because of the high frequency and short time frame, the burglaries at PS6 are of special concern to the police.
“At this time, it is unknown if these burglaries are being committed by one or even more perpetrators under a more coordinated effort,” Larson wrote in an e-mail to The Daily.
To help mitigate the occurrence of the break-ins, DPS has posted a sign at the entrance of PS6, as well as flyers on all levels to inform motorists of recommended precautions. The flyers advise those using PS6 to remove all valuable items from vehicles, including GPS units, and to lock doors, roll up windows, turn on alarm systems, be alert to surroundings and report suspicious activity immediately by calling 911 or using a blue emergency phone.
DPS also asked Student Housing and building managers to send out alerts for those who park in PS6 and elsewhere on campus.
According to Larson, deputies regularly carry out patrol checks of campus 24 hours a day, and they have increased their monitoring of PS6 in light of the recent crimes. In addition, parking enforcement and campus security keep an eye on the parking structure.
“In that regard, we would like to send the message that the public immediately call 911 if they observe any suspicious persons or activities, not only in the structure but all areas of the campus,” Larson said.
Located underground, PS6 is a more attractive target for car thieves, but it is well lit with white walls and white ceilings. Observation of the lot Monday evening showed that more cars were parked in the upper levels, with more empty parking spaces descending further down.
“Parking Structure 6 is a typical underground structure which lends itself to no visibility from surface traffic and activity,” Larson said. “This is why we advise motorists to take extra precautions to reduce the potential for theft and other crimes.”