Cuesta College’s North County campus in Paso Robles had a rise in car burglaries and petty thefts from vehicles parked there in September, according to a campuswide e-mail sent out this week.
Cuesta College police told students and staff that they have increased parking lot patrols and alerted the Paso Robles Police Department.
The campus is on Paso Robles’ northeast side, off Highway 46 East. The specific number of break-ins wasn’t available, but authorities say it’s a noticeable increase.
“Students routinely leave purses, wallets, cash, cell phones, iPods and other valuables on the seats of their cars, begging someone to steal it,” said Sgt. Ron Schram.
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The issue is not confined to Cuesta. This summer, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department reported that vehicle break-ins increased countywide. In general, authorities attribute vehicle burglaries to crimes of opportunity in summertime, when people tend to leave windows cracked, and also to the recession as people seek quick cash.
The Cuesta thefts all occurred during the day, Schram said. Some vehicles were locked and some were not, he added. Despite the recent spike in triple-digit temperatures, Schram cautioned against leaving vehicle windows partially open because it allows a thief easier access.
“We have had one window-smash burglary when a wallet was left in the vehicle,” Schram said. “Please secure all valuable items out of sight and secured in the trunk of your vehicle.” He also advised drivers to lock vehicle doors.