EUGENE, Ore. — Property crime is the highest crime category in Eugene, and EPD says criminals like to strike when students head home for winter break.
The Eugene police chief and a number of officers are going door to door talking with students even business owners about protecting themselves from property crime.
EPD says the face-to-face advice is making a difference.
It’s somewhat surprising to open the door and see police, even the chief on your doorstep. But it’s a crime prevention tactic EPD says is working.
“We are very confident that as crime goes down in the neighborhoods where we do this, it is going down because of the work that we are doing,” said Chief Pete Kerns, Eugene Police Department.
That tactic is door-to-door canvassing. The focus on Wednesday was areas around the University of Oregon as students wrap up their finals and leave town for the break.
“Students posses small valuable electronic equipment that’s easy to steal and easy to use and easy to resell, and those are the things that we want them to protect,” Kerns said.
They hand out flyers and give advice. For instance, having the club on your car makes it virtually impossible to steal. And then there are times their advice is already too late.
“Actually I just lost $300 in my car,” said UO student David Zeng.
Zeng says someone stole his rent money out of his car, but it was unlocked.
“I appreciate the police officers coming and telling us to be more aware of those things happening,” Zeng said.
“When you have an opportunity to really have an in-depth discussion with people, you will see the crime lower for longer periods of time,” said Sgt. Lisa Barrong, Eugene Police Department.
Other tips include parking in a busy well-lit area, and try not to leave your valuables visible through the windows–even better, take them home. And despite the recent jail cuts, Chief Kerns has this message for the criminals.
“Even though the jail is small, we are sending plenty of people to prison for their crimes,” he said.
EPD says just telling students in the area that this is a high crime area opens up their eyes and they become more aware of what’s going on.