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Spike in crime at AU campus sparks new cameras in parking lots

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 5:17 PM EST
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Monday, Dec. 9, 2019

News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – There’s been a spike in crime at the Augusta University campus. Last year, between October and December, there were 30 thefts.

This year, that number jumped to 36 and there’s still three weeks left in the year.

“You will see criminals go through the parking lot and checking doors to see if they open, you know, looking inside to see what they can see,” Jim Lyon, Augusta University’s Chief of Public and Safety, said.

Lyon says most of the property crimes happen in the parking lots. They decided to add more cameras, starting with the parking lots on along Chafee Avenue as it's a typical hot spot for thieves.

“We have some homeless folks who hang out in the parking lots asking for money and panhandling and sometimes they are the ones who perpetuate the crimes of opportunity,” Lyon said.

Lyon says the cameras will make a big difference, but everyone has to play their part.

“We have a lot of parking lots and a lot of parking garages around our campus and our officers do a really good job to make sure that they patrol those areas, but frankly this is a partnership,” Lyon said.

Looking through the incident reports, we found many victim making the same mistakes.

“Very rarely do we have a forced entry into a vehicle,” Lyon said.

Which means most victims are not locking their doors, making themselves easy targets.

Lyon says most cameras on this latest project are already in place, but they’ll continue looking at ways to improve safety on AU’s campus.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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