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Crime worries students around campus

Three incidents, including robbery and assault, recently occurred on or near campus within a month’s time span, which has led to safety concerns among students..

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, a student was walking by Mundy Park, located on 500 Porfirio Diaz St., when an unidentified man threatened to shoot the student if he did not give him a ride. The victim proceeded to give the man a ride to the intersection of Piedras St. and Magoffin St. in central El Paso. The suspect took the student’s laptop and cell phone and fled on foot westbound on Magoffin St.

The second incident occurred at 11:25 a.m. Sept. 24 near Miner Village. Two female students were walking on Oregon St. by the Glory Road Transit Terminal, when an unidentified male began to follow them. The students then entered Miner Village and closed the gate behind them and the suspect began to push and kick the gate. When he failed to open the gate, he left.

Another incident occurred on Oct. 8 in the R-5 parking lot (remote parking off Sun Bowl Drive), when a student was assaulted by an unidentified male, who grabbed her arm and asked why she had been ignoring his messages on Twitter. When the victim claimed she did not know the suspect, he let go of her arm and fled.

According to Clery Crime Statistics, an annual report released by the UTEP Police Department, offenses in the forms of murder, robbery and arson or hate crimes did not take place on campus in 2012.

However, there were nine forcible sex offenses reported in 2012, increasing from five reported in 2011 and no offenses in 2010.

There were five aggravated assaults in 2012, which is an increase from the three that occurred in 2011, but is a decrease from the eight that were reported in 2010.

The crime statistics also report 28 burglaries in 2012 and another 28 in 2011, but that is a decrease from the 72 reported in 2010.

Two motor vehicle thefts occurred in 2012, a decrease from the 21 that occurred in 2011 and six in 2010.

Lydia Santoscoy, sophomore marketing major, said she always worries about safety on campus.

“I always question my safety. I never let my guard down, so regardless of whether these assaults have happened or not, I have always taken precautions, but now this (recent incidents) makes me even more alert,” Santoscoy said “I have had classes that have ended at 9 p.m. at night and have had to walk to my car by myself in the dark, and I always had to protect myself because it is way too easy for someone to take advantage of the situation.”

Junior multimedia journalism major Alexuss Smith, said she never felt unsafe on campus until the past month’s incidents occured.

“Getting these crime alerts on my email, I do look out more and I am more careful when going into the garage by myself, especially walking around campus at night,” Smith said. “I definitely feel that because I am a girl I am more of a target, and that is why I carry my little pepper spray with me, as a girl I feel we are targeted more than boys, because as a girl we may come across as weak and not as aggressive.”

In the 2013 Press Ratings from FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, El Paso was ranked as the number one safest large city in the United States.

Freshman criminal justice major Albert Reaux agrees with the ratings and said that since he has been living in El Paso, he has seen why the city has held that number one spot for three years in a row.

“People may not like it, but there is a cop almost everywhere you look and go,” Reaux said. “It’s not to annoy or scare us, it’s simply to protect us. Not only the cops, but even the civilians of El Paso, Texas, are without a doubt some of the sweetest people you will ever meet.”

Lourdes Vega, sophomore pre-pharmacy major, said that she does feel safe when being on campus because of security and crime advisories at the university.

“Yes I do feel safe on campus.  Even when I am on campus late at night, I don’t feel threatened, I feel that everybody on campus is a student just like me,” Vega said.

Public Safety Escort Service is available to all students at all times of the day. Contact campus Police at 747-5611for an escort or for any other emergency.

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Crime worries students around campus