Eugene Police urges fans to leave valuables at home

With the Oregon football schedule starting conference play and students returning to campus, more and more people are going to be flowing into Autzen Stadium, which may lead to an increase in crime.

Last year, 50 car breakins were reported on game days around Autzen Stadium. That number is up from 15 reports in 2010 and 8 in 2009 according to a Eugene Police Department news release.

This year EPD has been stepping up to prevent breakins and other crimes. In addition to patrolling around the stadium, EPD has been trying to be proactive and stop the problem before it even happens.

“We’ve handed out flyers to all of the parking garages; when people pay for parking they get a flyer. We worked with the Althletic Department so ticket holders are getting notified,” EPD spokesperson Jenna McCulley said. “We also have officers driving around reminding people that unfortunately when people gather together, thieves know that.”

The flyers relay a basic message: don’t bring valuables and don’t leave things in your car.

“Don’t bring it if you don’t need it in the stadium. If you are thinking you just want it before or after the game leave it at home, lock it up and lock your apartment before you leave,” McCulley said.

Despite the smaller crowds attending football games, McCulley and her staff strongly believe that their proactive efforts are resulting in lower crime rates.

“People don’t necessarily think about crime when they take off for the game, it isn’t their number-one priority,” McCulley said. “We’re focusing on crime prevention: only bring what you need.”

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Ian Campbell

Ian Campbell