Using caution paramount to deterring campus crime
UH Department of Public Safety sent out an e-mail Saturday affecting one of the largest groups of students at the University – those who drive and park at UH every day.
The e-mail included a police report of an aggravated robbery in Parking Lot 16C at approximately 4:20 p.m. A student was forced by an unknown male with a pistol to drive to a local ATM and an ATM in Rosenberg.
Fortunately, the student was unharmed, but what is most frightening is that the incident occurred in broad daylight on a busy weekend on campus.
Hundreds of fans were walking to and from Robertson Stadium to attend the Houston Dynamo game while many others were watching the UH baseball team take on Southern Methodist at Cougar Stadium right across Cullen from the parking lot where the robbery took place.
According to the College Board Web site, 25 percent of first-year students and 8 percent of all undergraduate students live on-campus at UH, which means more than 90 percent of the undergraduate student population drives to the University every day.
Universities by nature are open, public spaces, and it is impossible to have complete control over who comes into a parking lot. Using a few precautionary measures can be the most important part of preventing crime on campus.
According to the UHPD Web site, ‘three elements must be present for a crime to occur; desire, ability, and opportunity. A person may ‘want’ to commit a crime, and have the ‘ability’ to commit a crime, but if we deny them the ‘opportunity,’ then no crime can be committed.’
Don’t make property easily accessible. Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight, including expensive textbooks students often throw into the backseat of their car.
The UHPD Web site suggests staying on well-lit paths or walking in groups after classes to the parking lot. Students may also request a UHPD security escort by calling (713) 743-3333.
Taking such steps may seem overcautious, but doing helps protect your vehicle, your property, and most importantly, your life.