Students react to recent robberies on campus

Police surround man in CSUN parking structure
Photo credit: Luis Rivas

There have been reports of crimes committed at and around CSUN, which include a women who reported being punched in the face when she met with someone to sell her cell phone near campus, and just last week a student who was attacked in the B6 parking structure while walking back to his vehicle.

The incident in the B6 parking structure, which appeared to be random and involved no selling of property, however, has left some students concerned about their safety when walking to their cars.

“I try to park closer to my classes now, especially because I have a night class,” Karin Cisterna, a junior nutrition and dietetics major, said. “If I have to park far I have someone walk back with me.”

Cisterna also said she will sometimes call her boyfriend on her walks back so he can make sure she’s safe and call for help if something was to happen.

Venessa Rodriguez, a sophomore business management major, is more aware of her surroundings because of the incident.

“I always make sure not to wear earphones when I walk and [I] am aware of what’s around,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez also added that she still feels safe despite the incidents, but advises that maybe the CSUN PD could add more security around parking.

Compared to the surrounding area, CSUN has had 58 fewer crime reports between July 1 and Sept.12 this year. However, there have been more reports of theft on campus rather than off.

CSUN’s department of Police Services has been working to bring awareness to the campus to help protect students from incidents such as the recent reports of robbery on campus

“We immediately met with the housing director and we came out with a media blast that was put out to the residents to let them know about things like that,” Captain Scott VanScoy said.

Along with crime alerts about each incident, the media blast also alerted residents about the trend in robberies that have occurred when victims were attempting to sell their personal property. The email included tips such as to not meet strangers in areas that aren’t public, get a callback number rather than relying solely on email, and don’t attempt to resist robbers in any way.

Chief of Police Anne Glavin said the closed-circuit television system that’s being implemented on campus has helped keep crime rates at a minimum.

“It has a picture of the camera and essentially says that recording is going on,” Glavin said. “And that’s a deterrent.”

She also said the closed-circuit system has helped campus police identify leads on the B6 attack.

“This most recent one that we had, they were actually able to catch a partial license plate off of our CCTV. And thank goodness for that, it’s been hugely helpful,” Glavin said.

VanScoy said the video was able to show the type of car it was and also part of the license plate. The only thing missing is one letter or number, so they are running it through the state’s license plate, according to VanScoy.

Glavin offered tips for students to help protect themselves from crimes on campus. She recommends paying attention to the crime alerts and the information they tell you about recent incidents, having situational awareness and paying attention to your surroundings, and understand what’s contributing to crimes, like selling personal property.