Following a report of a burglary on West Trollinger Avenue, town of Elon and campus police are encouraging the community to lock up and remain vigilant when leaving for breaks.
Assistant Chief of Town of Elon police JT Turney said that most people who commit break-ins know and act when students are away from campus, according to an email he wrote to Elon News Network.
“A simple Google search will return the university’s calendar that shows when the students have breaks,” Turney wrote. “We recommend that everyone keep their vehicles and residences locked and to keep valuables out of view.”
Turney said students should report any issues with their property, including windows or doors that will not lock, to their landlord. He also said to look out for overgrown bushes and insufficient lighting that may be outside one’s residence.
“While there is no sure way to prevent someone from breaking in, we have found the use of motion lights and security cameras to be excellent deterrents,” Turney wrote. “Security cameras are not only a deterrent, they can help to identify suspects if a crime occurs.”
On Oct. 16, a resident of a house on West Trollinger Avenue reported a break-in that resulted in the loss of more than $4,000 in items — including clothing, a laptop and their passport.
Elon University reported no break-ins on campus over Fall Break.
The town of Elon police department can be contacted at 336-584-1301 and the Alamance County-Wide Crime Stoppers can be contacted at 334-229-7100. Turney encouraged students who observe any suspicious activity to contact 911.
“A vigilant neighbor that reports suspicious activity can aid us in capturing the person in the act of committing the crime or gives us the opportunity to identify the suspicious person in case a crime is later discovered,” Turney wrote.
Chief of campus police Joe LeMire agreed and said students should be careful of their belongings.
“Definitely lock up your apartment, your dorm room, your car, remove valuables from inside your car — anything that you're going to leave for a period of time,” LeMire said. “Make sure it's secured, make sure that stuff is all set.”
LeMire said another way to deter these incidents from happening is to refrain from posting on social media.
“What you don't want to do, and as people leave college and go through life, I see people do this all the time, like ‘we're leaving today for Florida. 10 days in Florida!’” LeMire said. “You just advertised on social media that nobody's going to be at your house for 10 days. So be careful what you put on there and post your pictures when you get back.”