Assaults, thefts on the rise at UofL as other crime trends decline

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8:32 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many University of Louisville students are on edge as a result of crimes at an off-campus student housing complex, prompting a closer look at crime on campus, including alleged sexual assaults and thefts this school year.

UofL Pre-med student Hunter McPeek described the four times he said thieves broke into his car.

“Papers spread everywhere,’ McPeek said. “It looks like they were looking for cash. “The second time, just cash again. None of my cards were taken, just my bookbag. Third time, they took a pocketknife and cash. The fourth time, I took everything out of my car, so, they didn’t take anything that time.”

McPeek then decided to move further away from campus.

“I was tired of coming out and seeing my car broken into and smashed,” he said.

His car break-ins are only one of many recorded by the University of Louisville Police Department. When comparing data from this year, 2020, and 2019, the two most common crimes on campus have been thefts and car break-ins, which have increased to 185 instances this year from 41 in 2020 and 20 in 2019.

This year, there have been 22 reported assaults, compared to seven assaults in 2020 and three in 2019.

However, robberies and burglaries have been on the decline this year. There have been 13 burglaries and four robberies reported on campus compared to 14 robberies and 22 burglaries reported last year and 12 robberies and 38 burglaries reported in 2019.

These are all situations that nursing student Neveah Miller aims to avoid, which is why she said she carries a personal alarm.

“I have a Birdie,” Miller said. “It’s an alarm. You pull it, and it makes a really loud noise. It’s supposed to alert there’s something going on.

Other students said they tend to carry mace or something similar to help protect themselves.

Alyssa Scraper aspires to be a neurosurgeon, and, like Miller, she said she wants to help people. However, the crime that surrounds them gives them the feeling that they have a long way to go.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to make things better,” Scraper said. “Like, how can I help?”

“There’s no way to know when it’s going to happen, who it’s going to happen to or where it’s going to happen,” Miller said. “It feels like a waiting game. I feel helpless.”

The UofL Police Department has not provided an update about Monday’s sexual assault case or revealed if they have caught the alleged predator.

To view the UofL Crime Log, click here.

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