Burglary, sex crimes go up

The Florida A&M University Public Safety Crime Log reports over 50 burglary offenses thus far since January which is a slight jump compared to last years total of 46.

Among the burglaries that have taken place this year, a number of them involve cars break-ins at the campus parking garage located on Osceola Street.

The report shows that residence halls on campus have also been the targets of robberies. Gibbs Hall, Paddyfote Complex, Palmetto North and South have had the incidents hits out of all residence halls.

Lt. Angela Kirkland, a FAMU Investigation Commander, said college students seem to be easily targeted because many of them own coveted items more often than not.

From August to mid-September alone, a total of seven burglaries reportedly accumulated at the residence halls. On the other hand, since January there have been only six robberies reported so far. Of that number, only one of them occurred this semester.

“The most common items stolen are miscellaneous – ranging from money, books, laptops, and cell phones and so forth,” Kirkland said. “These items are quick (steals) and can be resold without trouble.”

Kirkland mentioned that the assailants also target these locations due to the large of number of students who hang around there.

Philippe Presendieu, 19, Miami, believes the FAMU dormitories could be safer.

“I stay in Paddyfoote and my next door neighbors got robbed, everything got taken. I felt unsafe because that’s right next door to my room,” Presendieu said.

Presendieu, a civil engineer freshman, says his initial impression of the campus led him to believe that FAMU was safer than it is. “They need more security for us because I don’t know what could happen next.” He also feels that the FAMU police could do more.

Presendieu says that he and his friends have observed a lack of patrolling the campus residencies. “They’re really not doing their job as far as protecting us. Most of the time (I see them) they’re only socializing,” Presendieu said.

Calvin Smith, 20, a psychology Junior from Chicago, was a resident assistant last year in Palmetto North. Smith said FAMU’s campus is just as safe than others in the nation.

“I feel it’s as safe as any other place. Generally there’s going to be crime anywhere you go,” Smith said.

Last year, the total number of aggravated assault cases were only two and there was only one sexual attack reported. This year, three aggravated assaults have been reported with zero forcible sex/rape incidents.

“As long as people pay attention to their surroundings there shouldn’t be a problem,” Smith said.

The Office of Public Safety said they offer a variety of defense classes to help students protect themselves. Crime prevention classes offered throughout the year include personal safety, theft and rape aggression defense.

Through these workshops, students learn safety tips on reducing their risks for becoming victims. Kirkland reminded students that they should report a crime if they witness one or become a victim.