A student’s car was stolen Thursday morning from Lot 16 South, near the Duerksen Fine Arts Center. According to the university police department, it was one of eight vehicles burglarized on campus in the last two weeks.
The green 1997 Honda Accord was recovered Monday at a Taco Shop on 1010 E. Harry.
The thief’s job was made easy — the Honda’s steering column and key area were worn out, Police Captain Guy Schroeder said, allowing the thief to start the unlocked car with a key different than the owner’s.
“The victim indicated there were multiple keys that could work in that car, unfortunately,” Schroeder said.
It is unknown whether the thief knew the vehicle’s unidentified owner. Schroeder said the Wichita Police Department is following up on the incident.
There were also seven unlocked vehicles on campus burglarized by teenagers, occurring around “2 or 3 in the morning,” Schroeder said. Six occurred this past weekend. Unspecified amounts of cash were taken from the vehicles.
The thefts occurred in lots 1, 3, and 16, all of which are on the outside edges of the university.
In lots 1 and 16 — both along Hillside Street — Saturday at 2 a.m., “three juvenile males entered several vehicles in the parking lots, taking cash and change.” At 2 a.m. the Saturday before, in lot 3 – along 21st Street in the northeast corner of Cessna Stadium — a male teen in a parked car was seen by an officer, and ran when approached by multiple UPD officers. He was later arrested north of campus.
The four teenagers were given trespass notices and citations for curfew, with help from the Wichita Police Department. Some of the stolen money was returned, Schroeder said.
The spike in vehicular burglary has led to stepped up patrols on Hillside Street, 21st Street, and 17th Street — all areas on the edges of campus. Schroeder advises that students make sure valuables are hidden and vehicle doors are locked.
“Put the stuff in the trunk, whatever it may be,” Schroeder said.