Stats show rise in burglaries, thefts

Burglaries and thefts on campus increased sharply last year, according to the 2006 Yale University Report on Campus Security.

The annual report, e-mailed to the Yale community by University Secretary Linda Lorimer on Tuesday, shows an increase of over 50 percent in on-campus burglaries and thefts in 2006, following a year during which there was a marked decrease in such crimes. Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said this year to date has had about the same number of burglaries as 2006.

Highsmith said the spike in burglaries and thefts — 99 overall in 2006, up from 65 in 2005 — was largely due to crimes targeting participants in non-Yale-affiliated summer programs that house students on campus.

“They may sometimes not be as aware of safety,” Highsmith said. “We’re working more closely with those programs and not assuming that those non-Yale program staff will [raise awareness].”

The effort to increase awareness among summer program participants was further prompted by a spike in room thefts this past summer, she said. Yale Summer Session participants staying in Morse College were among those affected this year when a thief obtained a key to one of the college’s entryways.

Highsmith said there were 78 burglaries and thefts from January through August 2006 and 77 burglaries and robberies for the same months in 2007. Since August, Davenport College, Berkeley College and, most recently, Timothy Dwight College have also experienced room thefts.

While the Yale Police Department has made arrests in connection with thefts in Morse College, police are still investigating the other recent incidents, Yale Police Department Sgt. Steven Woznyk said. He said the YPD has been in communication with nearby police departments to try to find a pattern linking the thefts with others in the area. So far, investigators have not found a pattern in the recent residential college thefts, Highsmith said.

Highsmith said she was especially pleased to see that street robbery numbers did not revert to their high in 2004. According to the report, there were 38 robberies overall in 2004, 26 in 2005 and 23 in 2006.

“We had a spike in robberies around campus in 2004, so we hired new police officers, put patrols in place [and] added some blue phones,” she said.

The number of forcible sex offenses reported in 2006 dropped to 9, from 11 in 2005. In 2004, only 4 incidents were reported.

The report also noted a decrease in liquor law violations on public property, with 13 in 2005 and only three in 2006. Highsmith said she is not certain of what caused the change, but said efforts by the Yale College Dean’s Office to raise awareness about drinking in conjunction with the expansion of Connecticut liquor laws in October may have contributed to the change.

But while on-campus liquor law violations remained low in 2006, Yale police officers already have issued several fines each weekend for underage drinking and serving alcohol to minors this semester, according to YPD crime logs. Woznyk previously told the News that the increase may stem from the fact that officers are now able to issue tickets for liquor violations on private property.

The full report — which is released annually in accordance with federally mandated guidelines — includes all crimes reported to police or University officials that occurred on campus.

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