An Update on Recent Stolen Vehicles on Campus

Justin Gans, Staff Writer

4/18/23 Update

Great news! According to Detective Timothy Dow, officers have made an arrest in one of the cases:

“On April 13, San Diego Police officers arrested a suspect in possession of the vehicle stolen from Lot K on March 5. Comparison of the suspect’s various booking photos against CCTV imagery associated with the vehicle theft from PS-1 on February 6 revealed he is responsible for that theft, as well. While the vehicle in the February 6 incident remains unrecovered, UPD officers are preparing a criminal filing for the District Attorney’s Office against the suspect for the incident on February 6, and have provided supporting evidence and documentation to the SDPD investigator assigned to the arrest of the suspect on April 13.”

Original Article Below

On February 6, a car was stolen from Parking Structure 1. Less than one month later, on March 5, a similar style vehicle was stolen from Parking Lot K. Many students commute to campus, and this has naturally left them concerned about the safety of their vehicles.

In two safety bulletins, the University Police Department (UPD) shared details about the stolen vehicles, how to report information about them, and what students can do to prevent their cars from being stolen.

Almost two weeks after the last vehicle theft, I followed up with the UPD to learn of any recent updates regarding these cases and what preventative measures are being taken against potential car thefts. Detective Timothy Dow had the following to share:

“A review of CCTV imagery revealed two suspects were involved in the first incident, and a sole, possibly male suspect was involved in the second theft. We have forwarded that imagery to other law enforcement agencies in the county in an attempt to identify the suspect(s), and have requested forensic examinations that would tend to identify any suspects be conducted of both vehicles when they are recovered by our law enforcement partners. Our officers have increased routine patrols of the parking lots as well as the monitoring of our CCTV system for potential suspects or criminal activity. Our hope is both vehicles are recovered for their respective owners in the near future, and follow-up investigative efforts will lead to the identification of the suspects responsible.”

Additionally, the UPD recommends the following safety tips to help prevent your vehicle from being stolen:

Always lock your vehicle. Double checking can help. Vehicles are commonly found unsecured by thieves.

If you own an older vehicle, or one that is commonly stolen, consider adding security devices like a steering wheel lock, ignition cut-off device, etc. Always consult with a professional before modifying your vehicle.

If you normally store your vehicle on campus for days or more at a time, check on it periodically and move it. Thieves target vehicles that sit for long periods and appear unattended to.

Do not leave bags, boxes, valuable items, etc., in view in your vehicle – even if you know there isn’t anything of value in them.

Do not keep registration or other identifying information in your vehicle – keep copies on your phone. Occasionally these pieces of information are stolen in combination with garage door openers, providing an address of and access to your home.

If you have any information that could be of use to the investigation, you can contact the UPD at 760-750-4567 or make an anonymous report to San Diego County Crime Stoppers.