Crime still an issue LMC relatively safe

Alan Tapia and Brendan Cross

Burglary and vehicle theft rank as the two most reported incidents at Los Medanos College, according to records compiled and published by the Department of Justice on campus crime rates.

The listings, which cover the number of incidents reported at all three colleges within the Contra Costa Community College District, indicate that between the years 2009 and 2011, 21 burglaries and 14 vehicle thefts were reported on the main campus of LMC along with three aggravated assaults and two drug violations.

Between 2010 and 2011 alone the vehicle theft rate rose from two cases to 12 while the burglary rate increased at a more gradual rate. No hate crimes of any sort were reported between 2009 and 2011.

Los Medanos College’s lower crime rate compared to other campuses is thanks in part to the vigilance of its students and staff.

“I think LMC as a community does a good job of reporting incidents when they take place and being proactive when it comes to making sure they secure their belongings, whether it’s in their vehicles, classrooms or offices,” said Lt. Ryan Huddleston of the LMC branch of the Contra Costa Community College District Police Services.

Increased foot patrols by police aides and officers from the on-site police force, which also monitors other campuses within the district, also contributes to the lowered rate of incidents, noted Huddleston.

If a crime does occur on campus, members of the campus community who witness it should immediately report it to LMC Police Services and officers will be dispatched to the scene. If it is an emergency, dial 911, or 9-911 from campus phones. In some instances, cases may be forwarded to the investigations department located at DVC, one of the five district campuses. If warranted, “the case may be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for review,” said Huddleston.

In the case of car theft, which happened 12 times on the LMC campus in 2011, drivers must file a police report and officers will try to gather information about exactly what happened. Director of Police Charles Gibson explained as soon as a car is reported stolen they check the computer system to make sure it was not towed or repossessed, and do an area check in case it might have been parked elsewhere on campus. If signs point to theft, an official report will be entered into the system.

To safeguard against becoming a victim of crime, Police Dispatcher Janine Ornelas of the LMC Police Services advises taking the following tips into consideration:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight.
  • To further deter theft, make sure to keep car windows rolled up and doors locked at all times when away from the vehicle.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to police services immediately.

Escorts to and from vehicles or to and from classes are available if needed, Huddleston said. Any member of the college community may request this assistance from Police Services by calling 439-2181 ext. 3228.

For questions, assistance or more information, contact the LMC District Police Services office at ext. 3228 or Huddleston at 439-1505. For after-hours emergency information, dial 646-2441 or visit the CCCD website at www.4cd.edu/911.