Police encourage spring break safety
Published: Friday, March 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 09:03
Spring break might be a time of rest and relaxation, but crime can still be a problem for students traveling away from Morgantown.
The West Virginia University Police Department offers advice and services to help students prevent crime during the week and have a safe spring break.
WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts said for those students traveling out of town or even out of the country for break, making sure friends and family know where a student plans to be and when is important so they can plan accordingly.
"When you’re planning your trip, make sure you let someone know where you’re going," he said. "That way, if something happens, someone can tell law enforcement where you’re supposed to be."
Many students often choose to vacation overseas, and Roberts said students should visit the U.S. State Department website to learn about potential threats to American tourists.
"Some places just aren’t safe for Americans, so students should visit these sites and see if there are any threats to their safety," he said.
Roberts also said students should research the laws of their destination country.
"At least know what kind of laws there are for any kind of behavior you’re planning on partaking in, such as drug or alcohol laws," he said. To protect against robbery, Roberts said students should consider the sentimental and monetary value of their luggage.
"Don’t take anything with you that you can’t replace or that you don’t want to replace," he said.
Students should take credit or debit cards instead of cash, Roberts said. In the event that cards are stolen, a phone call to the provider can quickly deactivate them.
Roberts said burglars will often target residencies that are left behind by students over spring break. He suggested having automatic timers on light switches and making residencies as unappealing as possible to potential burglars.
"If you can, stop the newspaper and mail deliveries, and definitely don’t leave valuable items in front of windows," he said.
Roberts said burglary isn’t limited to abandoned apartments.
"When you’re moving your luggage down to your car, make sure you lock all your doors in between trips," he said.
Some thieves will enter cars or apartments while students are transporting belongings, he said.
"It only takes a minute for a thief to take your property," Roberts said.
Traveling students can also opt to have the Morgantown Police Department regularly patrol their residence.
This service is offered to residents of Morgantown, and requests can be made by calling 304-284-7522.