The Orion

Law enforcement, housing staff prepare for winter break

Aubrey Crosby

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David Stephen, director of University Housing and Food Services

University Police and the Chico Police Department are preparing for winter break thefts and break-ins in the upcoming weeks.

Chico police will take no extra steps for the increase in burglaries and theft this time of year, but are doing their best to make their presence known in areas where break-ins are an issue, said Capt. Ford Porter.

University police will also not look into extra staffing for the break, but are doing their best to patrol student resident areas, said Sgt. Bryce Davison.

“We do our best to patrol the areas but with so many people gone it is hard to tell which homes are empty,” Porter said.

Apartment complexes are tricky, said Porter. It is hard to determine if they have been broken into or not because the doors often stay closed, and burglars will often break into more than one.

Chico police reported 66 burglaries in January, according to a Chico police annual crime report.

“In about another month we will get an increase in calls about homes being broken into,” Porter said.

The residence halls are closed over break, with the exception of Konkow House six and University Village, which will remain open for international students and those who registered to stay in the dorms, said David Stephen, director of University Housing and Food Services. Because of this, there are reduced staffing levels in the campus communities.

“Over time, we have found that having one staff member available for extended breaks is sufficient,” Stephen said. “Periodically the staff will do walk-arounds of the communities, and UPD is present for these.”

Theft in the residence halls over extended breaks has never necessarily been an issue, he said.

“We always encourage students to take home electronic devices and personal items of value,” he said. “We have students secure their rooms and ask them to take their bikes home or move them inside.”

In January, 123 acts of larceny were reported by Chico police, according to the crime report.

Chico police recommends that students take home valuables, such as laptops and computers, away with them on break, Porter said. If students have larger items, such as televisions, they are encouraged to ask a neighbor to look over their place, he said.

University police also recommends that students move their bikes inside their rooms to prevent theft if they live in the residence halls.

“Bike thefts are typically the largest problems in the residence hall areas over breaks,” Davison said. “Last break, a lot of students took their bikes inside which helped us out.

Aubrey Crosby can be reached at [email protected] or @aubreycrosby on Twitter.

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Law enforcement, housing staff prepare for winter break