UA Among Colleges With Most Motor Vehicle Thefts On Campus

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The University of Arkansas ranks among the top ten universities across the nation with the highest number of motor vehicle thefts.

According to numbers from the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, the UA recorded 30 campus motor vehicle thefts in 2016. Which ranks the ninth most across the nation, behind schools like the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

Motor vehicle theft numbers include both automobiles and scooters, with the latter making up a majority of thefts on the Fayetteville campus.

Gary Crain, a Captain with the University of Arkansas Police Department, said the increasing number of motorized scooters and their small nature make them prime targets for theft.

"Scooters are not that difficult to put on a truck or just push away or however people are doing it, and we've caught them doing it many different ways," Crain said.

Numbers from UAPD crime logs showed motor vehicle thefts up in 2017,  at 47, with the majority being stolen scooters. As of this year, 29 motor vehicle thefts have been recorded.

Craig advises both car and scooter owners to always lock up, and warns against hiding keys in or around the vehicle.

Owners of any motor vehicle parked for an extended period of time should routinely check back to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary.

For freshman Jacob Wilk, taking precautions is all about watching where you park your scooter.

"I usually try and park it around a lot more scooters, so it's a lot more of a hassle if someone wanted to steal it," Wilk said. "If we're out eating or something, I try to park it between barriers."

To avoid falling victim, owners can purchase safety equipment and a lock to use when parking a scooter.

Freshman Patrick Wicklander bought a lock when he purchased his new scooter.

"I park where everyone else parks usually. If there's a lot of cars, there's a lot of people," Wicklander said. "People are less likely to take stuff if there are a lot of eyes around."