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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Police stress student safety for spring break

Before students leave their homes and apartments for spring break, police said they need to remember that safety is a priority and take the necessary precautions.
Senior officer Rhonda Seaton of the College Station Police Department said one of the simplest things a student can do is make his apartment or house look as if someone is staying there.
“Keep shades and blinds in a normal position and use a timer on lights or a radio,” she said.
Students who live in houses or duplexes should leave a car behind or have a friend park in the driveway because an empty driveway is a sign of an empty home, she said. Extra locks should be put on windows, and all doors should be completely secure, she said.
Sgt. Allan Barone of the University Police Department said empty apartments are attractive to would-be burglars, and suggests students have a housesitter or close friend periodically check on the apartment.
Students going home for the break should bring valuables such as computers and laptops with them, he said. Valuables that are left behind should be secured as well as possible and out of view.
Seaton said CSPD does not increase patrol during spring break, but there are more opportunities for extra patrolling because the department is not as busy while students are away.
Barone said there have been severe cases in the past when a student’s apartment has been completely cleared out, including all appliances and furniture. He urged students to obtain renters’ insurance, if possible.
For students who are traveling for spring break, simple measures can be taken to assure safety. Barone said students should stay together while traveling to popular spring break destinations.
“The biggest mistake students make is not staying in their groups,” he said.” That’s how people get into trouble.”
Before leaving, make sure vehicles are serviced and running well and always know where you are by taking note of the closest city in case of a breakdown, he said.
Barone said that if the car breaks down, pull over to the side of the road, turn the flashers on and wait for a law enforcement official for help.
“Police officers, sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol officers all have uniform shoulder patches identifying the agencies they serve,” he said. “Look at these closely to verify they are police officials.”
The number for Texas Roadside Assistance, which is on the back of all Texas drivers licences, is 1-800-525-5555.
Police also said that students should let someone they trust know of their arrival and departure times in case of an emergency.
Kristin Hebert, a senior meteorology major, is traveling to South Padre Island and Mexico with a group of friends for spring break.
“I carry my AAA card and always have my cell phone charged,” she said. “I am also letting my friends know how long I will be gone and a phone number they can reach me at.”
Seaton said a complete checklist and safety brochure is available a the CSPD for students to pick up.
Barone said students should trust their instincts and remain watchful and alert.
“You can’t control the actions of others,” he said, “(but taking these precautions will) reduce ciminal opportunity and increase your safety as well as enjoyment of spring break.”

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