Campus police offer vacation patrols

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It's finals week on many college campuses in Indiana, and that means students will soon be heading home for the holidays.

That becomes a prime time for thieves.

Like most campuses, Butler students live both in dorms and off-campus housing.

And when the campus gets quiet, during breaks when most of the 4,200 students are away, thieves needing money for the holidays strike.

It was a problem at Butler until a few years ago, when the campus decided to add patrols.

"We offer home checks in the neighborhood," said Andy Ryan of Butler Police. "So if a student lives off campus, they can fill out a request form and an officer will do home checks. We encourage students in the neighborhood to notify the landlord if they are going out of town."

The patrols have not totally stopped break-ins, but they have curtailed them.  IU-Bloomington is also adding extra patrols to deter burglaries.

Police say thieves are looking for electronics, as you might guess. But another target is bicycles. So make sure you put your bike out of sight.

Police advise students take some other precautions before they leave for break:

  • Stop mail and newspaper delivery
  • Don't pack vehicles early
  • Take portable valuables
  • Copy ID numbers on anything you plan to leave

Parents should help remind their students, who are deep in final exams right now, of these precautions.