Mercer Cluster

Do Not Cross: Campus crime increased during 2015

Nicholas Wooten, Managing Editor

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Campus crime increased in 2015

Crime on and around Mercer University’s Macon campus rose from 70 incidents in 2014 to 85 during the 2015 calendar year, according to internal reports provided to The Cluster by Mercer Police.

More than half of the offenses were entering an automobile (25) or theft by taking (22).

Two sexual crimes were reported on campus. The document lists a rape at Mercer Hall that was reported on Jan. 17, 2015. Another person reported a sexual assault at the Sigma Nu house on Sept. 18, 2015. According to reports, the incident at the Sigma Nu house remains active while the Mercer Hall case has been “exceptionally cleared.”

According to FBI Uniform Crime Reporting documents, agencies can declare cases exceptionally cleared when elements beyond their control prevent them from making an arrest.

Four conditions must be met in order to declare a case exceptionally cleared. Agencies must identify the suspected offender; gather enough information to support an arrest, make a charge and turn the offender over for prosecution; identify the location of the suspect so he can be taken into custody immediately; and encounter an outside circumstance that prevents the agency from arresting, charging or prosecuting.

The document lists three specific reasons — the death of the offender, the victim’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation, or the denial of extradition — among others for the exceptionally cleared status to be granted.

Cases could also be cleared — though not exceptionally — through a university judicial hearing, said Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins.

These listed sexual crimes are an increase from the one rape listed in 2014 and the zero rapes reported in 2013. There was, however, one count of sexual battery and one count of sexual assault was listed in Mercer Police’s 2013 internal reports.

Below is a map of the listed incidents.

If you reported something and do not see it listed online, please contact Nicholas Wooten at manager@mercercluster.com.

Mercerians still the target of car-related crimes

Some people don’t lock their doors. But sometimes it doesn’t matter. Early in 2016, Mercer students still found themselves the targets of car-related crimes. Of the six incidents that have occurred since Jan. 23, four of them were automobile related.

Jan. 26 – The owner of a 2008 Infinity GTS had her side passenger window smashed. Nothing was missing from the vehicle.

Jan. 26 – A student returned in the morning to find his blue 2004 Honda Civic missing its front passenger window. Overnight, someone had broken the window and stolen his backpack, which was filled with school supplies and his laptop. The brand and serial number of the laptop is unknown.

Jan. 27 – A student reported seeing a vehicle with a busted window just across from his residence hall. Once the owner of the 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser was contacted, he searched the vehicle and found nothing missing. The responding officer noticed a large gash on the side of the vehicle made by the stick which was used to break the window.

Feb. 8 – A man had his black 1999 GMC Denali Yukon stolen. He parked near the football stadium at 12:30 p.m. When he returned three hours later to get his umbrella, the SUV was gone. Inside the vehicle was a ring valued between $300-400. The man told officers he left a key in the CD player like he always does. The vehicle was recovered Feb. 17.

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About the Writer
Nicholas Wooten, Editor in Chief

Nicholas is a Southern Studies and Journalism double major at Mercer. He is a junior and serves as The Cluster's Managing Editor. He enjoys the works of...

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Do Not Cross: Campus crime increased during 2015