Thief returns stolen car
By Chelsea Williams
A mysterious car theft in the south end of UW-Fox’s parking lot Jan. 26 has heightened awareness of safety among students.
Sophomore Marlie DeCoster left the building at approximately 4 p.m. to find her car was not where she parked it.
DeCoster reported the incident to campus officials, who then contacted local authorities to begin the investigation.
The suspect returned the vehicle shortly after the police arrived on campus.
“This person must have realized when they drove up and saw the police car that they had been caught and quickly drove away,” DeCoster said.
The car was found unharmed moments later, parked near the southwest end of the lot.
“The car is back…I had to buy a club for the steering wheel, the police left it off as someone playing a joke on me,” DeCoster said.
“My car was stolen, no one was given permission to take it. [The perpetrator] didn’t even have the keys. They could’ve been doing it all along, and I would have never noticed,” DeCoster said.
The suspect was never caught and no further information released by authorities regarding the occurrence.
Jim Eagon, assistant campus dean, believes that individuals on campus should work together to prevent incidents in the case of DeCoster’s car theft.
“The campus is like a small community and we all need to help each other out, and keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it,” Eagon said.
Campus officials want to remind students that there are resources available in times of distress.
There are currently three emergency call buttons in UW-Fox’s parking lot that will automatically contact Winnebago County authorities if one feels unsafe.
“I think everyone should be aware of the emergency call buttons in the parking lot. I know I never knew about them until I almost ran into one.” DeCoster said.
The emergency call buttons are illuminated with a blue light at night, making them easy to locate in the event of an unexpected incident.
“We have had very few uses of those units which is a good thing, if that means we have very few cases. We do test them on a monthly basis to make sure they are working properly,” Eagon said.
The campus also offers locker rental for personal belongings in the men and women’s locker rooms near the field house, as well as in the campus’ science wing.
“We would like to think that we are in a safe environment, but we also need to use common sense about what we bring to campus and how we care for it while we’re here,” Eagon said.
Students are advised to keep track of their belongings to avoid other incidents involving property theft.
“I’ve never had a problem with [property theft], but then again I’ve been really over protective of my stuff by always having it on me or having a friend watch it,” sophomore Kaitlyn Klinzing said.
All students are encouraged to educate themselves about campus safety, and to always report to Student Services with information on any suspicious behavior.