Mesa police vanquishing vehicular vandalism
With a report of vehicle vandalism within the first few weeks of the fall semester, the San Diego Community College District Police Department at San Diego Mesa College is already cracking down on crime.
Last semester it was estimated that four to six vehicles were victims of theft on campus. This number is relatively low considering that Mesa College is one of the largest community colleges in California. This semester, Sergeant Diana Madera aims to reduce the number of vehicle theft, in addition to stolen cars and vehicle vandalism.
“We are here to protect our students, and their property,” says Sergeant Madera.
Aside from the one incident of theft, there have been no documented reports of hit-and-run or stolen cars. Again, not such a small number when compared to the statistics of last spring. Two of the most notorious cars of theft are both Honda vehicles: the Civic and the Accord. Common items that are taken are MP3 players, laptops, cellular phones and, in some cases, textbooks.
The SDCCD Police Department advises students to lock all of your doors and roll up every window, including the sunroof. Make certain that all valuables (or items perceived as valuable) are safely stowed in a glove compartment and out of sight.
While there is no specific location to where these incidents occur, the Police Department is quick to pinpoint specific crime waves. In the past, sting operations have been successfully conducted to combat thieves of both cars and motorcycles.
Parking, even without the threats of theft or vandalism, has become an increasing nuisance to students. There are approximately two thousand available parking spaces on Mesa’s campus, not including the additional space for reserved motorcycles, keeping on-duty offices plenty busy.
“I have been lucky to find parking near the housing across from Continuing Education,” said Kyle Kreis, a second-year student at Mesa.
Fender-benders are a more common occurrence than both theft and stolen vehicles combined.
You’ve heard the stories from your classmates…they go out to their car, only to find that their entire driver’s side panel is scratched, or the bumper is seconds from falling off. No note, no contact information: all you’re left with is a sour taste in your mouth and a $300 repair bill.
Many of these incidents, however, go unreported to district police since matters are mainly resolved among the vehicle owners. Unfortunately, some individuals are not so lucky. Heather Stark was a victim of vehicle vandalism twice last semester, and once already since school started for the fall term.
“I wish we had security cameras to catch the people that do this,” Heather said, “At least have the respect to leave your information if you damage another person’s car.”
There are surveillance cameras on campus, although those locations have not been disclosed for security reasons. There are plans to introduce CCTV monitors in the parking structure where the campus police headquarters is stationed.
Sergeant Madera and her staff would like to remind the students that it is not only vehicles that are vandalized. Keep your possessions close at hand, and report any theft or suspicious activity you may have witnessed.
Police Escort Service
The college police provides day and evening escort service to your car, from Monday though Friday from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., for all students, staff and faculty.
Call Q-100 at 619-388-2749 or the police dispatch at 619-388-6405. For after hours use the police call box outside office Q-100
Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. a victim’s purse was stolen from an unlocked and unattended vehicle.
Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. a victim’s laptop was stolen from the men’s locker room.