Police Investigating String of Break-Ins at UTRGV
EDINBURG - University police are planning to bring awareness of crimes happening at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley campuses in order to clamp down on them.
Kevin De Los Santos, a resident advisor at UTRGV, said he's seen an increase in emails sent by the university alerting students and faculty about the incidents.
"(The police department) is right behind us, and at the dorm they react pretty quickly… I know security has recently been heavily enforced because there have been break-ins in multiple buildings," he said.
A crime log found at the police department's lobby showed the education building was hit three times.
UTRGV Police Chief Raul Munguia said the building is equipped with an automatic system that locks the building after hours and can be accessed by card. He said security guards also manually lock doors on all the other buildings.
"There hasn't been any type of forced entry. It's difficult to try to. Those are a little more difficult to investigate and determine how they are getting in," he said.
Munguia said they are investigating these incidents and trying to figure out if they are related.
"The items that are disappearing in those particular thefts happened in over a period of time. So we don't know when exactly it happened," he said.
Although students and faculty safe are a top priority, the police chief said they also take parents into consideration.
"Parents do get worried because they don't really know what's going on as much as we do like. I can say I'm safe but someone else might not feel the same," De Los Santos said.
Munguia said they will be making changes as the investigation continues.
"We have officer in Edinburg, officers in Harlingen and Brownsville, and depending on what's going on and the severity of it, we can actually shift resources across the campuses," he said.
The chief of police said they are also starting to use technology to allow access to buildings.
"At the moment we are going through and retro-fitting even the old buildings to go strictly to card access," he said. "It's much easier to issue a card and go into the computer and give them the permission to go into certain rooms versus having to cut a new key."
Munguia added newer buildings are already equipped with the new system. They are working to upgrade the older buildings' systems.
The chief said the upgrade may take several years to complete.
Anyone with information on the crimes can contact the university police department at 956-665-7151 in Edinburg or 956-882-2222 in Brownsville.