Eugene Police Department prepares students for school year with six-day anti-theft campaign

The Eugene Police Department is currently gearing up for its biggest crime prevention campaign of the 2012-13 academic year.

According toEPD’s Sgt. Lisa Barrong, fall move-in time for both on-campus and off-campus students is one of three peak crime periods throughout the year.

“Early fall, the winter holiday and spring break are the times during the year when we see the most property-related crime,” Barrong said.

The influx of more than 20,000 students returning to Eugene provides ample opportunity for thefts to occur, particularly burglary, car break-ins, car thefts and bike theft, Barrong said. To combat these crimes, EPD is launching a six-day crime-prevention campaign.

Officers will go door-to-door, giving out flyers to residents with tips and information to prevent crime. Officers will also distribute more than 16,000 coffee sleeves to local coffee shops that say, “Thieves love laptops and bikes.”

The campaign will also feature a traveling mobile station so students and parents can talk to crime prevention specialists.

“We are just trying to educate the students and people who live in this area due to how high the rate of property crime can be,” Barrong said.

Previous EPD campaigns helped reduce crime in the campus area significantly, Barrong said. During a 14-day time period in 2012 which overlapped the University’s spring break, car break-ins dropped from 13 in 2011 to five, while burglaries dropped from seven in 2011 to five in 2012.

“This program has been extremely successful in the past,” Barrong said. “Five car break-ins during a two week period is a phenomenal statistic in its own right, and the fact that it was during a time when students are mostly gone and crime rates go up is amazing.”

Starting Sept. 18, EPD will set up its mobile station on Kinsrow Avenue to meet with students moving into complexes such as Chase Village and Stadium Park Apartments. Other stops include outside the EMU on Sept. 25 and The Duck Store on Sept. 26.

Here are a few tips Eugene police officers give to students:

  • Lock the doors and windows of your residence – the majority of thefts are from students leaving something unlocked or open.
  • Car break-ins are most easily avoided by leaving your car empty.
  • Laptops are the number one theft item on campus. Never leave a laptop unattended whether in a library or a coffee shop.
  • Make sure your bike is locked with a high-quality lock and registered with either the Department of Public Safety or EPD. Use the “cheap bike, expensive lock” method.



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