By Jeffrey Abbott
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Cell phones, iPods, textbooks and laptops sit unsuspectingly in students’ cars on Camden County College’s campuses. Public Safety has already put out an Advisory Message warning students of potential car thefts on campus. The message went out during the first week of the 2013 fall semester after valuables were stolen from the car of a female student. Her valuables were left in plain sight and her doors were unlocked.
John Schuck, who is the assistant director of public safety at Camden County College, along with the rest of Public Safety, urges the students of Camden County College to “put valuables away before entering campus.” If done this way, potential criminals will not be able to see what is being put away. If it is done in the parking lot before class, that will give people time to see what is being put away and if it has any value.
Schuck also advises students to “always lock your vehicle and make sure to double check it.” Public Safety, along with Schuck, works closely with surrounding police departments, whether that be Gloucester Township, Cherry Hill or Camden County Police Force.
Sean O’Brien, 36, who is a full-time student, gave this advice to his fellow students: “Don’t leave anything in plain sight. Lock your doors, roll up your windows, set your alarms. I would also say park in a safer spot, don’t park somewhere secluded or where people can get to your car where nobody can see it.”
Felicia Macauley, 20, who is a full-time student, said she “was not aware of the car theft on campus, but I have seen Public Safety posters on bulletin boards around campus.”
Both O’Brien and Macauley said there is a “well-known presence of Public Safety at Camden County College.” This presence, along with the Advisory Message posted after the incident occurred, may have stopped other potential thieves from stealing valuables from students’ cars.
“856-374-5089. We encourage students to put that number into their contact list into their cell phones,” said Schuck. This is the number to the Public Safety office, and students can call to report any suspicious activity they see or even if they have questions they do not know whom else to ask.
“Safety on campus is everyone’s responsibility,” said Schuck.