Campus Crime Update: Lofts Vandalization, Car Break-ins and battery case

Chief Collins: Lock your doors, and keep your valuables out of plain sight.


Nicholas Wooten, Managing Editor

Mercer University Police Chief Gary Collins advises students to protect themselves and be safe.

Mercer students have been victimized in a string of auto-related crimes. From Sept. 2 through Oct. 12, two vehicles have been stolen, and there have been five documented incidents of entering autos. Signs of forced entry were only present in one instance.

“Don’t make it easy,” said Mercer Police Chief Gary Collins. “If someone enters an unlocked car, we will not know the car is broken into. Please, help us help you.”

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 12, there were three documented criminal incidents—one entering auto, one criminal damage to property and one simple battery. These cases were transferred from from paper files to Mercer’s police systems database Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Friday, Oct. 2 through Monday, Oct. 5: A person without permission entered the Loft Phase 5 construction site on Mercer University Drive behind Five Star Stadium sometime over the weekend of Friday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m and Monday, Oct. 5 at 9 a.m. The person cut various types and sizes of wire a few feet short of the connection. Ten units on the second, third and fourth of Building 1-B were vandalized. There was no surveillance available, and damages totaled near $8,000.

Monday, Oct.12: Someone entered a student’s vehicle and took her GPS from the glovebox of her vehicle. The student was unsure if her vehicle was locked. There were no signs the perpetrator made a forced entry.

Monday, Oct. 12: A verbal argument between two individuals turned violent on Mercer’s campus. The suspect took a tire iron from the victim’s car and busted out the front and back windows. While fleeing, the victim struck another vehicle. As the victim stopped and waited for officers to respond to the accident, the offender approached and struck the victim with a tire iron on the head and shoulders. The pair were both issued issued a warning for criminal trespassing.

Not included in these tallies is the suspicious person sighted on campus late on the night of Sunday, Oct. 18 and into the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 19.

Mercer Police officers and Bibb County Sheriff’s officers responded to the incident. Once the individual saw the blue lights, he hightailed it down Ash Street and got away.

Collins says the blue lights may have scared students, but there was no evidence to indicate the person had a firearm.

Emails and text alerts were not sent to the students because Collins and the police department felt there wasn’t a threat.

“If we thought there was [a threat], we would have notified the community,” Collins said.