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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 8, 2024

Local police departments respond to crime increase

Crime+increases+in+College+Station
Photo by Photo by: Robert Kuykendall
Crime increases in College Station

College Station has seen an increase in crime this year, so Lt. Steve Brock of the College Station Police Department gave The Battalion some tips on how to avoid dangerous encounters.

 

Brock said compared to last year’s numbers, there’s been a spike in burglaries of vehicles, a slight increase in assaults and a “decent increase” in the number of aggravated assaults between January through June 30.

 

Considering car burglaries, Brock said increases can occur through groups or individuals that come in and burglarize multiple vehicles at a time, but this is usually followed by decreases whenever the criminals are arrested.

 

“That doesn’t mean that another group or individual isn’t going to come back in and start burglarizing vehicles,” Brock said. “So it ebbs and flows, it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride at times. 

 

Car burglaries are frequently the result of a crime that can be avoided by taking the correct precautions to harden the target and eliminate the opportunity, Brock said.

 

“If we leave valuables in a vehicle in plain sight and we leave a vehicle unlocked, it makes it a much easier target as opposed to taking the valuables out of the vehicle or at least hiding them and always locking the vehicle, and, if there’s an alarm, to set the alarm as well,” Brock said. 

 

Brock said the best way for individuals to keep valuables safe from car burglars is to park their vehicle in a locked garage, and if they don’t have the ability, to at least lock their cars in a well lit area. 

 

“Always take the valuables with them, and that includes auxiliary cords that may be coming out of a stereo — not even attached to something, [it] gives the appearance that their might be something of value in there that should be attached to that auxiliary cord,” Brock said.

 

Brock said once the individual leaves the car, he or she should scan the vehicle to see if any valuable items are visible and to make sure the doors are locked.

Kelley Mckethan, public information officer for Bryan Police Department, said to make sure no firearms are left in vehicles.

 

“If they carry firearms, make sure that they don’t leave their firearms in their car whenever they’re not in it, because we’ve had several burglaries where a firearm is taken and that’s just putting a gun in unwanted hands,” McKethan said.

 

While it’s easier to understand increases in car burglaries, it’s more difficult to pinpoint a reason for the increases in assault and aggravated assaults crimes, Brock said.

 

“Without going through and reading every aggravated assault and doing some real research it’s hard to put your thumb on,” Brock said. “A lot of the times the actors know each other, but it could actually be for any number of reasons and it’s really hard to dial down and specifically say ‘this is why you’ve seen an increase in aggravated assaults.’”

 

While not all instances of assault or aggravated assault occur as a result of alcohol consumption, Brock said many of the actors and victims of these crimes had been drinking alcohol when they put themselves in these unsafe situations.

 

“Don’t hang out with strangers, don’t go to a party that you don’t know people at. In essence, remove yourself from a situation that you feel unsteady about or you just don’t know about,” Brock said.

 

Brock said if someone sees something suspicious, they should contact the College Station Police Department.

 

“Across the board, our citizens — if they see something suspicious, like a potential burglar or some potential crime that is occurring or about to occur — call the police department, call it in,” Brock said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
 

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