By ASTRID VERDUGO
Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks, Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys are the most commonly stolen cars at Pima Community College and nationwide, according to Stella Bay, executive director for PCC’s Department of Public Safety.
Vehicle thefts are the most common crime reported at PCC campuses. The recently released 2010 Clery Campus Crime Report lists 29 vehicles stolen from the college’s six campuses, compared to 22 vehicles in 2009.
Downtown Campus also had nine reports of liquor law violations, compared to seven in 2009 and 38 in 2008.
Six cases of illegal drug activity were reported at Downtown Campus, up from five cases reported in 2009. Desert Vista has four reports, compared to one in 2009.
Desert Vista and West campuses each had eight vehicle theft reports in 2010. Six vehicle thefts were reported at Downtown Campus. East Campus had three reports, while Northwest and Community campuses each had two reported thefts.
“What’s not noted on the report is that most cars are recovered by the next day,” Bay said. “The car will be left in a parking lot, maybe left abandoned in a neighborhood.”
Some vehicles stolen from PCC are used for transporting drugs, she said. Thieves also steal vehicles to remove valuable items such as stereo systems.
Although Bay didn’t have exact statistics available, she said the vehicle thieves are mainly juveniles.
Statewide, auto thefts have gone down, Bay noted. “At one point, I think the state of Arizona was two or three for highest number of auto thefts.”
She believes safety education and advanced technology in cars help reduce vehicle thefts.
PCC previously used a poster campaign to promote safety.
“You know, educating the public as far as layering so it’s harder for people to steal your car,” Bay said. “Locking it up, taking the keys, parking in a crowded area, the use of LoJack and alarm systems.”
Bay advised anyone who sees suspicious activity on campus to call the 24-hour DPS dispatch number: 206-2700.
Citizen involvement provides the best deterrence for any kind of crime occurring on campus, Bay said. “We’re working with the students to help make these numbers smaller and smaller each year.”
Community service officers dressed in blue shirts also patrol campuses. “They also act as deterrence,” Bay said. “They’re on foot in the parking lot, and they work with the police department.”
The Clery Report summarizes data on campus crimes reported during the previous three years. To request a printed copy, call Pima’s Department of Public Safety at 206-2671.
The police department provides access to monthly activity logs, annual crime statistics and the Clery Report through the PCC website at pima.edu/dps/reports_statistics.shtml.
For additional Clery Report details, see “By the Numbers.”
PCC motor vehicle thefts reported:
Campus 2010 2009
West 8 10
Desert Vista 8 3
Downtown 6 2
East 3 2
Northwest 2 3
Community 2 1
Source: 2010 Jeanne Clery Campus Crime Act Annual Report
Crimes reported at Pima Community College campuses in 2010:
Criminal homicide or manslaughter cases
Robbery, at Community Campus
Forcible sex offenses reported at any PCC campus, compared to 1 at East Campus in 2009
Motor vehicle thefts at West Campus, compared to 10 in 2009
Hate crimes reported
Liquor law arrests at Downtown Campus, compared to 7 in 2009 and 38 in 2008
Illegal drug arrests at Downtown Campus, compared to 5 in 2009
Illegal weapon arrests at any PCC campus
Administrative referrals for drugs, alcohol or weapons (2 at East Campus for alcohol, 1 at Desert Vista for drugs, 1 at Northwest Campus for alcohol)
Compiled by Kyle Wasson
2010 Jeanne Clery Campus Crime Act Annual Report