7 stadium cars broken into in past 3 weeks

Sean Joseph

In the past three weeks, police say, seven cars have been broken into at Dix Stadium, a pattern they will not ignore.

“This number is unusually high, and the fact that it’s in a short time period tells me that it’s probably the same people doing it,” said Lt. Carl Sweigert, who is in charge of investigations at the Kent State Police Department.

Those committing the thefts seem to be mainly after car stereo equipment, Sweigert said. CD player face plates, speakers and amplifiers in trunks have all been reported stolen recently.

Yesterday morning police spotted a couple of men, with a history of breaking into cars, acting suspiciously in the stadium’s parking lot, Sweigert said. The men were not taken into police custody or charged because they were not found to possess any stolen items at the time.

“It is possible that they may have been involved, and the problem may have just been solved, but we actively continue to look,” Sweigert said.

The suspicious men were issued a persona non grata by the university, which means they will be arrested if found on campus again, Sweigert said.

Whenever campus police officers have extra time during their shifts they are doing extra patrols in the stadium’s parking lot, Sweigert said. If the problem continues, extra surveillance and police presence will be added.

Parking Services has a hired security service, Metro Security, that guards the stadium lot from the early evening to the early morning, said Larry Emling, assistant manager of Parking Services.

All thefts reported in the last few weeks likely occurred during the afternoon hours, Sweigert said.

“Since September 2004, about 40 cars have been broken into around campus,” he said. “The stadium stuck out because it’s a large amount of incidents in a short window of time.”

This year, 1,990 parking permits have been issued for the stadium lot, Emling said. He also said he had not heard much about the recent break-ins, but that on a large campus there will always be people breaking into cars.

“The stadium is isolated from a lot of everyday traffic,” Emling said. “It’s hard to establish time frames that break-ins occur because people who park there usually don’t see their cars all week.”

Ashley Laughlin, freshman pre-nursing major, said she is always concerned about leaving her car at the stadium lot all week.

“Every time I go to get my car I always look to see if there is any damage. It’s scary,” Laughlin said.

She said she feels safer when she takes all her CDs and other valuables out of her car and parks it in a crowded section of the lot.

Campus police encourage students who park at the stadium to take all valuable items out of their cars and cover up all valuable stereo equipment, Sweigert said.

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].