LSU, SU Crime

By Ben Wallace | LSU Student

Burglary reports tripled and liquor law arrests doubled from 2010 to 2011 at Louisiana State University, according to LSU's 2012 Annual Security and Fire Report.

The report cited 47 burglaries in 2011, compared to only 13 in 2010, with an increase from two to 31 occurring in residential facilities.

For Southern University, burglary reports more than doubled, from 17 in 2010 to 36 in 2011, according to its 2012 report.

LSUPD spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde attributed the majority of the spike to one incident at the University's West Campus Apartments where a non-student was involved in about 20 of the reports last November. During the same month, a string of burglary reports at some fraternity houses accounted for an unspecified but significant number of the reports, he said.

He believes LSUPD's recent campaign entitled, "If You See Something, Say Something," which encourages students to report on campus crimes, has prompted an increased number of reports.

All universities are federally mandated to report certain on campus crimes under the Student Right-To-Know and Campus Security Act, also known as the Jeanne Clery Act, under which a burglary is defined as unlawful entry into a structure with the intent of committing a felony or theft, although not necessarily committing the additional crime.

Overall, SU's crime rates were down, prompting Stevens to credit the student body. "Basically, what we do is ask them to police one another."

Neither university reported a single murder/homicide in the past three years.

Forcible sex offense reports dipped from five in 2010 to two in 2011 for LSU, while increasing from zero to two at SU.

Although Lalonde acknowledged that at least for LSU, that number might be lower than the actual number of sexual assaults, since the FBI estimates that about 50 percent go unreported nationally, according to their 2006-2010 Uniform Crime Reports.

International trade and finance senior Irene Harris believes reporting a crime may not help that much. When an unusual tire was stolen off her bike one semester, she took the advice of her resident assistant—steal it back—which she did, since it was easy to spot due to its unique tire tread.

Still, Harris said she feels fairly safe on campus, despite the crime uptick.

LSU had 101 bike theft reported in 2010, dipping to 51 last year, which would not be included in the report, Lalonde said.

When it comes to whether a person ought to report a crime, Lalonde says follow this rule of thumb: "If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't." It's like the feeling attached to when hairs stand up on the back of one's neck.

LSUPD made 222 on-campus liquor law arrests in 2011, compared to 102 in 2010.

Lalonde said the majority are underage drinking busts made during home football games and Bayou Country Superfest when state, parish and city agencies are brought in to assist with crowds.

Marijuana and prescription drug violations made up the majority of the drug arrests, which jumped from 53 in 2010 to 86 in 2011. Lalonde said carrying unprescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medicines, such as Ritalin or Vyvanse, will warrant arrests similar to other illicit drugs.

Meggie, a recently purchased narcotics dog, has also helped, Lalonde said.

Southern University Police Department has not made a single liquor law arrest in the past four years, which Stevens attributed partly to aggressive policing during football games but mainly a lack of high-profile events where alcohol consumption is involved. SU's drug arrests dropped from 17 in 2010 to eight last year.

LSU's report cited only two fires, both small cooking accidents that happened in November 2011.