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NDSP releases campus crime statistics

Emma Driscoll | Friday, September 19, 2008

Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) sent crime statistics for the month of August via e-mail to students September 12, which they use to help inform students of possible dangers on campus.

“We want students to be aware of where crime is occurring and they can make decisions about whether they want to frequent these places,” Assistant Director of NDSP David Chapman said.

The e-mail reported one burglary, taking place in the Pasquerilla Center on August 4 and 28 accounts of larceny.

Chapman said that a suspect has been identified for the burglary and has been taken into custody.

Of the larceny cases, 20 involved bicycles, one involved a wallet, one involved a purse that was later returned, one involved a laptop computer, one involved an ID card, and one involved an ATM card, according to NDSP officer Keri Shibata. Other cases involved tools reported stolen and then reported recovered by the owner on the same day, tent stakes, video games, DVDs and food, Shibata said.

The e-mail included comparative data from the months of July and August about crimes taking place in Northeast South Bend. The number of aggravated assaults jumped from 4 to 10 between the two months.

Shibata said that NDSP has not received information that students were involved in these aggravated assaults.

Chapman said the only way NDSP receives information about students being involved in off-campus crime is if the student identifies himself or herself as a student to the officer and if the officer includes this identification in a report.

NDSP has also not received information of students being involved in the two rape cases reported in the month of August in Northeast South Bend.

Shibata said that crime statistics will continue to be sent to students monthly.

“Maybe being aware of the crime that is taking place will help [students] seek options that will make it more difficult for crimes to be committed against them,” Shibata said.

Students can also find more information about crime on campus through NDSP’s Crime Blotter. NDSP sends Crime Alerts if they determine that students should be aware of a situation immediately.

“If it’s something where student safety is at risk, we send out a crime alert as soon as we possibly can,” Shibata said.

Chapman said that NDSP tries to send the most important information to students.

“We have to judge. A lot of people, if they get so much [e-mail] from NDSP, they will delete it,” Chapman said. “We have to be careful how much information we saturate students with,” he said.

NDSP urges students to contact them whenever they feel that something is suspicious.

Phone calls from students, faculty and employees made it possible for NDSP to catch three subjects in cases last April and May.

In one case last April, a student called NDSP to report a suspicious person, Chapman said. NDSP stopped the person who was from East Chicago who was suspected in several burglaries at Notre Dame and at other colleges, Chapman said.

“He was targeting colleges and universities and going through dorms stealing things,” Shibata said.

The subject also had unrelated felony charges in Marion County, Chapman said.

Also in April, a faculty phone call enabled NDSP to apprehend a subject leaving Stepan Chemistry Hall with a stolen laptop computer, Chapman said. This subject was also identified as a suspect in other cases, Chapman said.

In May, a ND employee phone call helped NDSP stop another person identified as being in dorms. The subject was on parole at the time he was stopped.

Chapman pointed out that none of these cases involved a break-in or forced entry.

“One of the best ways to prevent these things from happening is to not let people in that you don’t know. Be suspicious,” he said.

Shibata stressed the importance students reporting suspicious activity or people.

“During that time, there were several instances when we would get called several hours after the fact,” Shibata said. “It’s vital for us that when people see something is suspicious, even if they are not sure what’s going on or why it’s suspicious, call immediately because we have very good response time and if we’re given timely information, we can catch up with these people.”

If students would like to receive e-mail alerts of crime against students in the city of South Bend, e-mail Cpl. Hechlinski at Phechlin@southbendin.gov, the e-mail said.