Holidays may spur criminal activities

by Declan Desmond

With the end of the semester looming ahead, students who are preoccupied with finals and holiday plans can easily forget to protect themselves against criminal activity on and around campus.

By raising awareness of theft and other crimes during this time of year, the San Diego State Police Department is working to reduce student victimization.

SDSUPD Capt. Lamine Secka said a rise in petty thefts in Love Library is likely to occur.

“Because (students) are so wrapped up in studying and going to the bathroom or going to have lunch,” he said they often leave their belongings unattended and vulnerable to theft. Secka added laptops and other electronic devices are frequently targeted.

Another issue is textbook buy-backs, a frenzied end-of-semester activity known to create more op- portunities for potential thieves. Because receipts are not required to exchange books for cash, book- store staff has no way of knowing if returned items are stolen.

“As a preventative measure, we will likely be sending out information on our website, our Facebook page, Twitter, as well as email notifications which report on crimes and safety issues,” Secka said.

Bicycle theft has also been a problem this semester, with a spike in incidents throughout the last few weeks. To combat this trend, SDSUPD has partnered with Associated Students to initate a bike lock giveaway for those who registered their bikes. The free bicycle registration service, enables law enforcement officers to identify a stolen bike by its serial number.

While many students enjoy celebrating after completing their final exams, safety remains a top concern for campus police.

Large parties, “create potential safety hazards from the standpoint of alcohol intoxication, sexual as- sault, and potentially robbery,” and often involve the victimization of someone who can’t make the right decisions at the time, Secka said.

He stressed how awareness of one’s surroundings is key in preventing assault and theft.

Although criminals from sur- rounding areas continue to target SDSU students, a recent spate of strong arm robberies—in which cell phones were forcibly taken from unsuspecting victims around campus—has declined after the arrest of seven of the nine suspects involved in those incidents.