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CPs Report Slight Drop in Larcenies On Campus

Greg Kuhnen -- The Tech
Increased Campus Police patrols have contributed to a lower theft rate on campus this year.

By Krista Niece

Theft on campus decreased in the first half of this year, while Safe Ride usage soared, according to the Campus Police mid-year report for 1997.

Larceny and burglary, which have consistently been MIT's worst problems, both declined in the first half of 1997.Bicycle thefts dropped to almost half the number cited in 1996, from 82 to 42. The number of motor vehicles stolen fell from 20 to 11. The total number of larcenies fell as well, from 388 cases to 361.

Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin said the decline in larcenies was a result of an increased awareness of the MIT community, as well as more frequent direct patrols - routine police checks of problem areas on campus.

At the same time, she said that there will always be a "swing on statistics" and that the numbers may mean little with regard to the future of crime rates.

The increase in student awareness may be demonstrated by the increase in the usage of the Safe Ride shuttle service through Cambridge, Glavin said. Use of the Cambridge shuttle skyrocketed from 28,840 riders to 42,364.

The Cambridge shuttle attracted larger numbers than the Boston shuttle, which was formerly the more popular route. Use of the Boston Safe Ride fell slightly from 41,938 to 40,660.

Overall, the amount of criminal activity has remained stable over the past year, with the number of on-campus crimes totalling 126. Last year's total was 125.

Assault rates rise on campus

Aggravated assault, which includes incidents involving battery, increased; there were six cases of aggravated assault on campus, as opposed to two cases in last year's report. There have been more instances of fraternity and dormitory problems, malicious destruction of property, soliciting, and harassment.

Arrests went up slightly from 36 to 42. June was the month in which the most arrests were made, while the fewest arrests were made in February.

Security problems and complaints have taken a nosedive, falling from 34 in 1996 to six this year. Because of MIT's open campus policy, security is an issue of importance, Glavin said. The routine police checks of suspicious persons may have led to this drop.

According to the police report, 339 suspicious persons have been checked this year. Of these, 100 were cleared, 203 were given trespass warnings, 28 were student problems, six were psychiatric cases, and one was an employee problem.

Other incidents which have seen decreases include obscene and annoying phone calls and disorderly persons incidents.