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Spring break could mean more break-ins for UArizona students

Jefferson Park neighbors, TPD raising awareness
Jefferson Park is one neighborhood where UArizona students have been burglary victims.
Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 00:45:17-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Spring break is here for the University of Arizona, but that’s not always a good thing for students.

Tucson police say school breaks can often lead to more burglaries where students’ cars and homes are targeted.

“Seems to be a historical trend in areas where we have a higher transient population, so to speak, of people coming in and out and some seasonality there with our burglaries,” said TPD officer Aaron Wine, a lieutenant for Operations Division West.

Wine says students’ electronics make them prime targets for thieves, especially when students are out of town during school breaks.

TPD says in about 20 percent of burglaries, homes and cars are left unlocked. That has been a trend with UArizona students.

“We know that a lot of times, this is the first time students have lived on their own," said Julie Katsel, UArizona's director of government and community relations. "And they may not be aware that they need to be much more deliberate about locking everything up every time they leave the house or leave the car.”

Besides always locking up—including gates and sheds—Wine has other suggestions for making a home less vulnerable to burglaries:

  • Keep valuables out of your yard
  • Trim trees or bushes near entry points to make them more visible to bystanders
  • Maintain good outdoor lighting
  • Raw iron security doors can prevent the main doors from being kicked in
  • Put mail on hold if out of town for long periods of time
  • Invest in a home security system

Rosemary Bolza, vice president of the neighborhood association in nearby Jefferson Park, says getting to know your neighbors is also important. She says that recently saved one home near her from a would-be thief.

“When the neighbor saw somebody going into the house and he knew the students weren’t home, he went over and just by being there, the burglars ran off," she said.

This month, the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association is partnering with TPD and UArizona to place informational door hangers across the neighborhood.

“Those things that are gonna maybe negatively affect our neighborhood, by working together, you really can make some changes," Bolza said.