Increased break-ins at off-campus residences prompts SLO Police to enforce new measures
A recent surge of break-ins in the neighborhoods surrounding Cal Poly is threatening the safety of the Cal Poly Community.
According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, burglaries in residential areas are up nearly 78% from the same time period last year.
Psychology sophomore Abby Abraham is among the various Cal Poly students whose homes were broken into this year.
“All my drawers were open, my clothes were everywhere, my desk chair was turned over in the middle of my bedroom,” Abraham said.
Abraham was with a few friends in her car in her garage when she saw a man walk into her apartment through the garage door. They all doubted what they saw and went into the apartment.
After hearing loud noises coming from upstairs and finding that Abraham’s bedroom door was locked, the group reconsidered and locked themselves in a bathroom.
“We just [heard] tumbling down the stairs,” Abraham said. “Like the person like was running as fast as they could, banging into the walls. It was so scary.”
San Luis Obispo Day Watch Patrol Lieutenant Chad Pfarr attributes the recent increase in burglaries to the emergency bail put in place by Gov. Gavin Newson at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Most of our drug-related offenses [and] things like that that people would normally stay in custody for, they are not allowed to be booked into jail now,” Pfarr said. “They get a citation when they are caught and [are] immediately released.”
According to Lieutenant Pfarr, many thieves often steal things in order to pay for their drug habits.
The department is establishing multiple measures in an attempt to decrease the number of break-ins in the area.
“A lot of it has just been increased patrols and surveillance operations, and then our interaction with folks via social media and trying to get messages out of keeping things locked,” Pfarr said.
If residents are experiencing a break-in they should call 911 immediately. If you come back to your apartment after a period of time to notice your property has been broken into, call the SLO PD business line at 805-781-7312.