Published: Dec. 27, 2021
By: Alaina A. Alfred, Alejandro Burgos and Taylar R. Green, LSU Manship School News Service
Living in an LSU dorm, Jack Tomeny is used to leaving his car unattended in a campus lot for a few days at a time. One day Tomeny noticed that someone had stolen his backpack from the backseat along with the loose change he had in the car.
Tomeny fell victim to a recurring theme that is making students uneasy not only on campus but at popular student apartment complexes near the LSU campus.
The number of car break-ins reported on campus jumped to 22 during this fall semester alone after falling to just two while students were studying remotely in 2020 and averaging 10 a year in the three years before that.
Baton Rouge Police Department records show that the off-campus apartment areas that many students move to after their freshman years have been averaging 30 to 35 vehicle burglaries a month. And relatively high rates for vehicle and apartment break-ins — and armed robberies — in Baton Rouge as a whole add to the apprehension.
Some students, like Tomeny, acknowledge being a bit naïve in not taking enough precautions. He left a passenger door unlocked even though the lot was not well lit.
Still, he said, “I was honestly a little surprised that there’s people brave enough to go and check random people’s cars.”
Tomeny did not bother to report the break-in to LSU police, saying that he did not see what they could do at that point and that he decided to “kind of just cut my losses.”
LSU sophomore Laisha Mendez found that someone had broken her car’s passenger seat window in September while she was inside a bar in Tigerland, a popular hangout spot for students. The glove compartment was open, and old checks were found scattered over the seat.
Mendez spoke to the Baton Rouge Police Department about the incident and learned that the police had apprehended two men suspected of committing that crime and 17 other car-related incidents.
Read more at the News Star