To prevent theft, students need to be good neighbors

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

By themselves, the individual increases in crime around Chico don’t seem like a big problem. But taken together, they’re a clear indicator that students need to take their safety seriously this semester.

Thirty bike thefts have occurred so far this semester, and Chico experienced a general increase in crimes in the first five months of 2013, according to Robert Woodward, a former crime statistician for the city of Chico.

But it’s difficult to see those dangers in the daytime. The city seems perfectly safe to students when they’re walking down the street with a few friends in the afternoon.

This affable atmosphere shouldn’t lead people to let their guard down, however. When Chico State students forget that there are unsavory people lurking around, they’re more likely to forget to lock their bike or carry a can of pepper spray around.

But the solutions to these hazards are just as prevalent as the hazards themselves.

To deter the rising tide of bike thefts, students can — and should — immediately purchase a high-quality lock for their bike. It may be a little pricey, but it’s cheaper to pay more for a lock than having to buy another bike.

Students who live in high-crime areas: keep all your belongings under lock and key at all times, and take them away from windows, where they’re easy prey for vandals.

And most importantly, talk to each other. It’s not awkward or strange to check in with your neighbors to see if they’ve noticed any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. On the contrary, it could save you hundreds of dollars.

And when you notice something suspicious, your first confessional shouldn’t be Facebook. Call the cops. Tell them what you witnessed. You might be preventing a crime before it occurs.

Always keep your guard up for yourself and your fellow students. Theft is a common occurrence in Chico, but it can be thwarted if we behave like a community should.

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