Many Temple students use street parking in and around campus as a cheap and easy alternative to the on-campus parking options. However, on-street parking comes at a risk for car owners.
No one knows this more than Junior Economics major, Max Bunn. He parked his car by the corner of 16th and Norris street, just a few blocks away from campus, and it was broken into.
“There was a cinder block through the front passenger window,” Bunn said. “Glass was literally on my seat, and the passenger’s seat. It was in the back, they rummaged through the back of the car too.”
Police said that a group of teenagers were likely culprits, according to Bunn. Fortunately, he was able to get his window fixed for under $200, but he’s still changing where he parks in the future.
“[I’m] being more aware, and being more cautious of where I park for sure,” Bunn noted.
Bunn is not alone when it comes to recent car crimes. According to Temple’s Director of Public Safety, Charles Leone, cars are being stolen and broken into at record rates.
Compared to last year, thefts from cars have gone up 20% around campus, experts stated.
“It’s definitely a crime of opportunity,” stated Leone. “If you’re walking by and you see something in the car, somebody may force their way into the car to try to take that.”
Leone says that the university’s response to this spike in crime has been to increase messaging related to off-campus parking. He says they are working to create posters that will remind drivers to turn their cars off, close their windows, and take items of value out of sight.
Leone also noted that with the rise in thefts from cars, car thefts are also on the rise. Reports stated that 15 vehicles have been reported stolen around campus already this year, a 300% increase from last year.
The majority of these thefts have similar causes, according to Leone.
“We’re seeing drivers leaving their cars running, going inside, taking a couple minutes to pick up the orders, and somebody sees the car running and they’re jumping in the car and driving away,” he stated.
Leonne hopes that if drivers can reduce the opportunities for thefts, then the number of vehicular crimes will decrease.