Thefts account for 45 percent of unsolved crimes

Media Credit: Spencer Strauss | Hatchet Designer

About half of this year’s unsolved crimes are thefts, crimes where it can be difficult to catch the suspect.

About 45 percent of the crimes reported this year that remain open cases were thefts – 41 of the 91 crimes reported to the University Police Department that remain unsolved so far this calendar year. UPD Chief RaShall Brackney said that because thefts usually occur when items are unattended, it can be hard to catch the suspect.

“If there are no eyewitnesses or surveillance video available, these incidents typically remain unsolved because there are no leads to investigate,” Brackney said.

The total number of open cases accounts for about 8 percent of all crimes reported to UPD this year, meaning that more than 90 percent of cases reported have been solved.

The number of open cases in the crime log from each year has declined since 2011, likely because officials update crime logs once a case is closed.

There are 57 cases still open from last year and 16 cases from 2011 remain open, according to the University’s crime logs.

Brackney said thieves typically look for unattended items, like wallets, clothing, laptops, phones and bicycles. Of the six laptop thefts that occurred during a three-week period last month, five are still listed as open cases in the crime log. The sixth theft was an off-campus incident that was not listed in the crime log.

Other unsolved crimes this year include three sexual abuses, 16 incidents of destruction and two aggravated assaults.

Brackney said the University is not able to provide the total number of unsolved crimes on campus because the numbers change as officers solve the crimes. She said officers investigate crime reports by interviewing any witnesses and reviewing security camera footage.

On-campus burglaries dropped by 70 percent in 2014, bringing the statistics for the crime back to average numbers after burglaries on campus nearly doubled two years ago. Security officials said the crime numbers returned to normal last year after officials caught a serial burglar who racked up the numbers two years ago.

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