Car Crimes on campus: something to watch for

Kandice Johnson

Most people take seeing their car outside their homes for granted…that is until one day you walk out and find yours missing.

Kylen Smith, a senior speech pathology major, realized her car was missing in Bayou Village Apartments parking lot.

“I went to the mall that night and got back around 8-9 p.m.,” said Smith. “I first noticed it was missing around 4-5 p.m. on July 10. So I imagine it was stolen late at night.”

Smith’s car was missing for over two weeks. It wasn’t until the Monroe police identified the car during a high speed chase that Smith was aware of her car’s location.

18-year-old Michael Shaw was initially pulled over for speeding, but when the teen refused to stop, things went from bad to worse.

“there was some damage to the front bumper and undercarriage,” said Smith.

“The officers and I were unable to determine whether or not it was safe to drive.”

Smith’s car is currently in the shop for repairs. She said her paid rental helps her get by for now.

Ironically, Smith’s friend Ethan Simms had his driver door keyed and his gas cap taken. The senior modern languages and psychology major said that the ULM Police Department contacted his father since the car is in his father’s name.

“We assumed they were trying to siphon gas from it, but no gas was actually stolen,” said Simms.

While Smith’s and Simms’ car incident did occur on campus, the ULMPD said car thefts are rare to none at the university.

“We’ve had one auto theft and two auto burglaries within the last eight months,” said Police Chief Tom Torregrossa.

Torregrossa said that while the Clery Act requires them to post crimes happening around cam-pus, the campus is “safe and secure”.

While no campus is perfectly crime free, Torregrossa has two simple tips students can follow to help ensure a safer campus:

1. Be conscious of your surroundings.

2. If you see something, say something.

On the ULMPD website, students can click the report a crime link and send an anonymous crime statement straight to the police.

“Every case sent will be investigated,” said Torregrossa.