Police: Stay vigilant to stop crime

While on-campus crime has not been as prevalent as off-campus crime this summer, local police departments are still warning students not to let their guards down.

Lt. Bryant Seraphin of the Urbana Police Department said he has not seen any crime trends but said he would still advise new students to be careful about burglary.

“Whether it’s your car, apartment, dorm room, bicycle, even the windows — especially ground level — lock it up,” Seraphin said. “Sometimes the most simple things can prevent somebody from being

victimized in the first place.”

Seraphin said windows are something people tend to forget about. This is especially important for those on the first floor of any building in order to prevent burglary, Seraphin said.

Capt. Skip Frost of the University Police also emphasized the importance of taking safety measures, such as paying attention to your surroundings while walking around on campus and remembering to travel in groups. Frost said students should always be fully aware of what is going on while walking, so students should avoid using headphones or texting while walking.

“We are looking for people who are paying attention and not being hesitant to call the police when they see something crime-related,” Frost said.

Frost said a prime example of the community helping the police was earlier this month, with a carjacking in a parking garage at the corner of Goodwin and University avenues. Several other employees saw the crime take place, and police were able to get a good description of the offender.

Eventually, the vehicle was located and a suspect is in custody. Frost said this was possible because community members spoke up about what they saw and provided the police with valuable information.

“We can’t be on every street corner, so we need the entire community to help keep campus safe,” Frost said.