For the second time this year, a car has been stolen from the RIT campus. According to the media crime report, the incident happened sometime on October 2 while the vehicle was parked in the Perkins Green Apartments. The car was an older Honda Accord, which was the same model as the first stolen car.
Blake DeBerto, the owner of the first targeted car, recently found his vehicle abandoned and stripped down. The car’s stereo and tires had been removed, and the inside suffered damages.
“To say the least, it didn’t really surprise me,” said DeBerto on the condition of his car. In fact, he’s decided to donate his car to a police auction.
As the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate the car thefts, it should be noted that the two cases are incredibly similar. “I’m kind of shocked that it was the exact same car,” said DeBerto, adding that he thinks the two thefts involved the same person. “The circumstances are way too similar.”
Meanwhile, Public Safety has been taking action to deal with the problem. “We always survey the areas where vehicles were stolen or broken into,” said Rod Lezette, Assistant Director and Investigator for Public Safety. Public Safety has been conducting lot audits, which involve observing cars to see how likely it is for them to be targeted by a thief. The surveyors will check for things like valuable objects left in plain view. Should a problem be found, Public Safety will “email the owners that we recently surveyed their vehicle [and] found it to be an easy target,” said Lezette.
Lezette also added that security in the areas of the thefts has been increased, and that Public Safety is thinking of putting up more security cameras.
Lezette stressed that the prevention of more auto thefts is a top priority for Public Safety. Students who own vehicles are advised to always lock their doors, roll up windows, remove or stow and lock away valuable objects, and remove their stereo’s faceplate if possible. Lezette noted that “people who use these lots can help [them] by reporting suspicious activity.”
DeBerto advised, “I’d like people to research if their [types of] cars have a history of being broken into, or are easy to break into, and start taking better security measures.”