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Precautions can deter break-ins

Nov. 19, 1998

BY EMILY GIBSON

Reporter

Emily_L_Gibson@baylor.edu

Car break-ins continue to be a problem, according to the Waco Police Department, but there are ways that students can prevent them from happening.

'It is a real serious problem,' said Sgt. Dennis Kidwell of the Waco Police Department.

Kidwell, who has been with Waco Police Department for 33 years, said car burglaries have been a problem for at least that long.

He said since there are so many cars parked so close together on and around campus, it's like a shopping mall for thieves. Many times the original intent is to steal the car, but the burglar can not start the car and instead steals the items inside, according to Kidwell.

'They are looking for expensive items, such as a stereo, or items laying loose like a radar detector, purse or clothing,' Kidwell said.

Many break-ins, however, go unreported. Kidwell cited the example of a car dealership who had more than 100 break-ins, but had only reported 15 of them to the police.

'If you don't report it, we don't know what is going on,' he said.

Once a theft is reported, police may track down the stolen items if they have serial numbers.

For instance, many stolen items get pawned, and police get the pawn tickets every week and match them with the stolen items listed in their computer.

'Without serial numbers it is very difficult to recover the property,' Kidwell said.

Kidwell also said it is helpful to have a lot of 'eyes' watching the parking lots for people who should not be there.

'They should call and let us come look at [the situation], especially if the person is looking suspicious,' Kidwell said.

He said that while car theft may still be a problem, there are ways that students can prevent it from happening to them.

'Burglars get cars that are more isolated and parked around the perimeter,' Kidwell said. 'Don't park in an isolated place.'

He also suggests parking where there are a lot of lights, and removing valuable items from the car.

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