In the midst of a rash of car break-ins near campus, University police arrested a man Monday they say attempted to steal from a parked car in a private lot on the corner of Park and Crown streets.

Yale police officer Gregg Curran arrested Edward Harris, a 46-year-old New Haven resident, after he allegedly tried to steal electronics from the vehicle, setting off the car alarm, University Police Lt. Michael Patten said. Police have grappled with a series of break-ins this year, and a number of students’ cars were broken into last week in the vicinity of Lynwood Place, Patten said.

Harris was arrested on charges of burglary, larceny, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and possession of burglary tools, since he had crow bars with him. He was also carrying a number of items police believe to be stolen at the time of his arrest, Patten said.

“[Harris] had a shopping cart, and in it he had some semi-transparent bags,” Patten said. “He had a 35mm camera with a telephoto lens in one, and in the sand bag was a walkman and some CDs.”

Matthew Barry ’07 had his car broken into Saturday night at Lynwood Place. He said he only discovered the damage on Monday night, after returning from a weekend trip.

“At some point on Saturday night, my car was vandalized,” Barry said. “The back window was smashed in and there was dirt all over it.”

Barry said he estimates the damage to his Jeep Grand Cherokee would amount to approximately $250. Barry said he planned to report the incident to the police.

Andrew McNay ’07, another student who discovered his car was broken into last Tuesday morning, said he had not yet reported the crime to the police. His car had been parked on York Street, across from another student’s car, which McNay said was also broken into.

“They broke into the driver side window. Right now I have windows made out of tape,” McNay said. “They stole my MP3 player, South Park DVD and another CD.”

McNay said he was more bothered by the time fixing the damage would take than by the cost of replacing his possessions.

“It’s more about the stuff they took and the hassle of getting it repaired, having a car that’s missing a window, and having to file a police report,” he said.

Yale police also apprehended another man, suspected of a series of car break-ins in the downtown area, for breaking into a car near 300 George St. two weeks ago.

But Patten said individuals responsible for vandalism are rarely caught, because most cases can be considered “random occurrences” rather than organized crimes.

“It’s hard to find a suspect if it’s a random thing,” Patten said. “We don’t catch that many of them. Usually someone comes along, finds something damaged and reports it.”

On weekends, a greater number of property damage complaints are filed, usually at a rate of about one or two per weekend, Patten said.