SAU Buzz

Recent Car Thefts Put Ambrose Students at Risk

by Erika Seabloom
Posted on Feb 02, 2018

Recently, Davenport has seen an increase in number of car thefts. This could largely be because of the way in which many people in town have to park. Many houses have very small yards and lack garages, requiring citizens to park on the street. The cold weather certainly hasn’t helped this issue. People are forced to either sit in their cold cars while they warm up or risk their vehicles being stolen while they warm up unoccupied on the streets.

This risk is one that a Saint Ambrose student took with some dire consequences. On Jan. 8, at around 6:30, SAU student Charlette Flanders decided to make a run for some groceries. She ran outside of her house on Brown Street to warm up her car (which was parked directly in front of her house) with the spare key. She then got out of the car and locked it with her main key, and ran back inside to wait a few minutes while her car was warming up. When she went back outside, the unimaginable had happened: her locked car had been stolen from right outside her house.

Flanders immediately called the police who found her car two days later. The police told her that 14-16 year olds in the area have been using apps to hack wireless locking and unlocking remotes to get into cars.

Currently, the theft of Flanders’s car is the only reported theft of a car from an Ambrose student. This doesn’t mean that students should be careless. Many thefts are still happening across Davenport. There are a few precautions that can be taken to help prevent car theft from happening. A basic rule of thumb is never leave a car running while unattended even if the car is locked. With the new technology thieves are using, even a locked car can be taken, especially if there are keys inside. Also, don’t run back inside even if it is only for a few minutes. That is all it takes for a car to be stolen. Even though it’s cold, it’s best to remain in a vehicle while it is warming up.

Sometimes, theft is unavoidable. In the event of a stolen vehicle, notify the police immediately. Director of Security Robert Christopher recommends letting the police know if you have AllStar or any other service of that nature. If the incident takes place on campus, report it to campus security, but as Christopher said, security cannot investigate off-campus occurrences. Quick notification of the police (or security, if applicable to the situation) will make retrieval of the vehicle easier and more efficient.

While it is unlikely that every person in Davenport’s car will be stolen, it never hurts to be careful. With car thefts on the rise, remember that the cold weather is not worth the risk of running back inside for only a few minutes to find your car gone from where it was just a moment before.