UNLV police increasing patrols after rash of car thefts, break-ins

Campus police ramped up security at UNLV after an increase in auto thefts. (FOX5)

Campus police ramped up security at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after an increase in auto thefts.

“We had a few cars stolen, attempted car theft, burglaries, and vandalism,” UNLV police Sgt. Paul Velez said. “Sometimes they'll just break the windows and take the property out. They aren't targeting a specific vehicle unless they're looking for a car to steal.”

Back in February 2017, more than a dozen cars were broken into, in just one weekend.

Then in March 2018, a student was pistol-whipped, during an attempted carjacking near campus.

“That’s terrible. And I think campus security needs to be improved,” one student said.

Police have been beefing up patrols. But many students said this trend isn’t a shock.

“It's typical of the neighborhood. I’m not surprised by it,” a student said.

“It doesn't surprise me too much,” another agreed. “People who want to do something are going to do it anyway.”

Police said they believe the suspects were not part of the UNLV community.

“We highly doubt it's other students and that's our concern right now,” Sgt. Velez said. “We are an open campus.”

Police said it’s a problem that goes beyond the university. “We had a meeting with Metro officers that work out of McCarran airport because they've seen some auto break-ins in their lots.”

So students have been proactive in protecting their property. “Everything I have personally is locked in my trunk,” one student said.

“Don’t leave anything valuable in the open that someone can just break in and steal,” another said.

Police said it’s a good reminder for students who may have a lot of other things on their mind.

“Study week is coming up, finals after that so they're under a lot of stress, under a lot of pressure right now,” Sgt. Velez said.

Campus police said if anyone sees someone walking aimlessly through parking lots, looking into windows or checking door handles, report it.

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.