College students provide thieves 'a target-rich environment'

College students provide thieves 'a target-rich environment'

EUGENE, Ore. -- A crime prevention team from the Eugene Police Department started an effort to warn University of Oregon students about the risk of property crime around campus on Tuesday.

Every year there is a spike in theft crime around neighborhoods densely populated by students, police said.

One of the areas hit worst by stolen property cases is the Kinsrow Avenue area.

Sergeant Lisa Barrong with Eugene Police Department said that this can be attributed to the types of items students bring with them to school. 
"College students tend to have laptops and bikes, so if they want to steal laptops and bikes, they have a target-rich environment." said Barrong.
Sgt. Barrong also said the thefts are often preventable, as long as students remembered to lock their cars and apartments. Over the next six days, police are going door-to-door, advising students on how to protect themselves. 
"Making sure to leave their car completely empty," Barrong said. "Don't leave the backpacks and the purses and that kind of thing."
Officials said that burglaries usually happen during the day while residents are at work or school. Thieves often do what police call a "knock and go-around."
They are going to knock and are going to go around to the side or the back of the house where they are more concealed and break a window or door or pry a door open," Barrong said. 
Jack Weiser, a volunteer with the Crime Prevention Team walked around the Kinsrow Avenue Neighborhood putting information sheets on cars. He said thieves are always looking for an opportunity, even when you are moving in, adding that students often leave cars unlocked or moving trucks open. 
"When they are taking things into their new home, they will leave their car unlocked, they will leave stuff in the trailers and the thieves are watching and they're waiting for any opportunity to go in and grab their stuff," Weiser said.

Eugene police will have mobile information centers moving around campus advising students at the following locations:
Wednesday, Sept 19              Stadium Apartments
Thursday, Sept 20                   "Unpack the Quack" Event on UO Campus
Tuesday, Sept 25                    13th & University in front of EMU
Wednesday, Sept 26              13th & Kincaid in front of UO Bookstore
Thursday, Sept 27                   13th & Kincaid in front of UO Bookstore