Off-Campus Robberies in Fairfield

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BY MAYTE FIGUEROA-CAMILO

Staff Writer

In the last two weeks of September different areas in Fairfield and Bridgeport have experienced a burst of home burglaries and car thefts affecting off-campus Sacred Heart University students.

The Fairfield Patch reported that two cars were stolen in Fairfield earlier this week.

According to the Connecticut Post, on Sept. 16 a 2008 Mercedes Benz was stolen from the resident’s driveway on Halley Avenue in Fairfield. Also, a $750 pair of designer sunglasses along with a cellphone charger were stolen the next day from a car left unlocked on High Street in Fairfield.

Both thefts occurred approximately five to six miles from the university’s campus.

“I think the area my car is parked is safe, but I’ve heard of kids in the area trying to go through cars all the time,” said junior Rj Trimble-Edwards.

Trimble-Edwards experienced a break-in on Trelane Drive in Bridgeport, when he found his car door opened on his way to morning workouts at 5:30 a.m.

“My console was open, my glove box was open, and my trunk was open. They did not take any of the clothes and shoes I had in the car, but they took some change,” said Trimble-Edwards.

The Director of Public Safety, Jack Fernandez, said that the majority of reports they have received are off-campus home burglaries, but not too many off-campus    car thefts.

“In regard to thefts from motor vehicles, items that were taken were money, and wallets,” said Fernandez.

Fairfield Patch reported areas in Fairfield affected by burglaries, or suspicious activities, included Middlebrook Drive, Pansy Road, Valley View Road, Wagon Hill Road, Short Hill Lane, Woodland Road and Tahmore Court.

According to Fernandez, the university’s main campus sites rarely experience vehicle or home break-ins.

“Yes, vehicle break-ins have been an issue through the state of CT, but not an issue on our main campus sites,” said Fernandez.

It was reported by the Connecticut Post that in the early morning of Sept. 19 a resident reported a suspicious individual in the area of Church Hill Road in Fairfield. A $600 laptop, a tablet, and a pair of Bose headphones were stolen from unlocked cars on Short Hill Lane, Harvester Road, Woodland Road, and Tahmore Court in Fairfield.

According to U.S. News, 48 percent of the university’s students live in off campus housing, which have a higher risk of experiencing home burglaries and car thefts.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Fairfield Police Department has recorded 58 burglaries, 222 larcenies, 37 stolen vehicles, 550 suspicious activities, and 161 thefts from motor vehicles, according to the Fairfield Police Commission Monthly Report.

“I had left my windows cracked and I believe that the individual reached in and unlocked my front door because I always lock my car at night. And my interior light was still on,” said Trimble-Edwards.

Public Safety addressed the precautions that students should take to avoid vehicle thefts in their neighborhood.

“Do not leave valuable items in plain sight. Do not leave cash in plain sight. If your vehicle does not have an alarm system, have one installed,” said Fernandez.

He advised that any students living off campus must have a home alarm system or an inexpensive audible alarm that will alert the student of a break-in and so help to prevent a burglary.

“Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day,” said Fernandez.

According to Fernandez, if an off-campus student comes home and finds broken windows or their door opened, they must not enter and must call the police from a safe distance.

“This is the first time this has ever happened to me, and I hope it’s the last time,” said Trimble-Edwards.

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