Parking garage break-ins leave 23 vehicles with broken windows, several stolen items


Marlee Claes / Hilltop Views

The three suspects were caught via security cameras that were recently installed in the parking garage. Shattered glass covered the concrete floors, a clear sign something went wrong.

On Jan. 25 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., three suspects traveling in a late-model Ford truck broke the windows of 23 vehicles in the on-campus parking garage and the adjacent parking lot P1. Several vehicles reported stolen items during the incident. 

“I called campus police, I had to notify them,” freshman Ev Hartley said, whose side-passenger car window was smashed during the string of break-ins. They were not alerted about their car’s damage by campus police; they had to go check and find out themself.

Damage to cars was noted within an hour of the incident, according to the university police department. After determining which vehicles had been damaged, they began reaching out to vehicle owners. 

“They came and wrote an incident report, they gave me a trash bag and helped me tape it to my car,” Hartley said. “That’s about it.”

UPD is allowing Hartley to temporarily park in a standard lot closer to their dorm. On top of a busy schedule full of work and class, Hartley also has to navigate insurance and other financial burdens due to their broken window. 

“I’ve spent two hours on the phone with insurance,” Hartley said. “Since the ice storm hit directly after my window got broken, there was lots of water damage in my car. I can’t really go on highways. I can’t really do what I need to do without a window. (It’s) very inconvenient.”

The safety of St. Edward’s students and their belongings are a growing concern on campus. This is the third time in the past school year where criminal activities were caught via newly-installed security cameras in the parking garage. 

In efforts to combat future incidents of this nature, UPD said they will continue to patrol campus and are stepping up the frequency in certain areas, including the garage. UPD is also installing additional lighting in parts of the parking garage and are looking into equipment that can help detect certain activities

“We continue our work with other law enforcement agencies to alert them of incidents on our campus and keep informed of the trends they are seeing,” Jim Morris with campus safety said. 

Hartley is just one of the 23 people affected by the break-ins, and is asking for better communication from campus.