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Campus crime rate declines

Serious crime on campus declined in 1994 for the fourth year in a row.

Thefts of both personal and Institute property were down, and there was a sharp decline in thefts at campus residences, the annual report of the Campus Police Department shows. Motor vehicle thefts dropped but bicycle thefts increased.

Campus Police officers made 108 arrests. The most serious charge was arson and the most common was trespassing, reflecting the 24-hour open-campus nature of MIT, the report notes.

Of the 1,740 complaints made to the Campus Police in 1994, 14 were in the "serious crime" category. Seven of these incidents were aggravated assault and seven were simple assault.

"This figure reflects crimes which took place on MIT property only and not crimes involving members of the MIT community that occurred adjacent to MIT," Police Chief Anne P. Glavin notes in the report. The report notes six incidents of serious crime adjacent to the campus: assault with a dangerous weapon (2) at Blanche Street and Massachusetts Avenue; assault and battery (1) at Delta Kappa Epsilon on Memorial Drive; and armed robbery (3) at ATM machines in Kendall Square, Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street, and at Third Street and Broadway.

The report notes that the serious crime total on campus is the lowest since 1984.

In the "other crimes" category, the report lists these incidents (1993 figures in parentheses): arson, three (0); burglary, 13 (18); domestic violence, 17 (9); harassment, 18 (19); sexual harassment, five (two); malicious property destruction, 67 (29); obscene/annoying phone calls, 58 (67); vandalism, 25 (85).

There were no rapes reported on the campus in 1994.

Chief Glavin notes in the report that larceny is the largest category of crime MIT police contend with.

"In the majority of cases, larceny is a crime of opportunity. Oftentimes, the property stolen was left unlocked in an unattended room. This problem is complicated by the fact that MIT has an `open campus.' Campus buildings are never really closed because of the ongoing research which involves many members of the community around the clock. In addition, there are many evening classes, cultural programs and other extracurricular activities which are often open to the public. This aspect combined with the fact that MIT is an urban campus indicates how the hallways sometimes seem more like street extensions than university corridors. Due to this present condition, the Crime Prevention Unit utilizes a variety of yearly crime prevention programs to help maintain an awareness on the part of the community to the possibilities for criminal victimization."

(A related story on a card-access pilot program for east campus buildings developed by the Police Department and Physical Plant appears below).

Other items noted in the 1994 report:

��������������������������� 124 reported incidents of thefts of MIT property, with a loss estimated at $178,166. The number of incidents was down 32 percent from the year before and the loss figure was down five percent.
��������������������������� 466 reports of thefts of personal property on the campus, down 16 percent from the previous year. The estimated loss, $168,586, was up 20 percent.
��������������������������� 67 incidents of residence hall thefts, down from 125 reported the year before. The loss was put at $22,686, a 53 percent decrease from the year before.
��������������������������� 870 thefts reported at non-residence MIT buildings. The highest number-285-occurred in Rockwell Gymnasium. Occupants of Building N9 (Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street) reported 83 thefts.
��������������������������� Vehicle thefts reported included 27 motor vehicles (compared with 61 in 1993) and 170 bicycles (compared with 158 the year before).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 1995.

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