Three vehicle burglaries occurred on-campus last week according to the Spring Hill College Office of Public Safety. Campus Police Chief J. Kevin Anderson said, “The thieves seem to be targeting three areas - Stewartfield, the commuter parking lot behind the baseball field and Outlaw Recreation Center.” As to why the thieves are specifically targeting these areas, Anderson said, “I believe it is because the high traffic and it is the main artery through the college.”
Anderson assured that strong measures are being taken by the Office of Public Safety and the Mobile Police Department (MPD) to prevent theft and to ensure the safety of the Spring Hill community. These measures include increased patrol by campus police and MPD officers, deployment of undercover cars and camera surveillance.
According to Anderson, car burglars are opportunists. “They walk by a car and see a purse, backpack or wallet, they break they window, take the article and are gone in seconds. Many times the burglars are watching for women to get out of their vehicles without their purse, so once the victim is out of sight, the burglar will quickly look inside the vehicle, and if the victim did leave their purse, it is stolen,” said Anderson. Such was the case for senior Alexa Shelton, who recently had her purse stolen from her vehicle on campus. “My purse was stolen from under my passenger seat. It was out of sight. I believe I was being watched because it couldn’t be seen from outside of the car and they knew what door to target,” said Shelton.
Shelton now takes extra precautionary measures to reduce the chance of another theft. “I always lock my car - usually more than once. I also only park my car in well-lit areas or in places I think a break-in would be hard to go unnoticed. I don’t leave valuables in my car and I get a reminder every time any of my credit cards are swiped in the event it does get stolen again,” said Shelton.
Anderson’s advice much aligns with Shelton’s stated precautionary measures. “Do not leave any valuables inside the vehicle. If you must, lock them in the trunk,” said Anderson. “The burglars may be of college student age and fit in very easily. Always be on the lookout and be aware of your surroundings. If you see something or someone that is out of place or unusual, please call the Public Safety Office at once - not when you get to class or after you go to your dorm - immediately. Time is of the essence.”
In the event of a vehicle burglary, Anderson advises promptly calling public safety, canceling any debit or credit cards that were stolen and refraining from touching the vehicle to preserve any evidence that might lead to the suspect. A Public Safety dispatcher can be reached 24-hours at (251) 380-4444.