String of Bell Center Thefts

Over the past five weeks there has been a string of thefts at the Bell Athletic Center. A crime alert was sent out on September 3rd about the first major theft of the semester. Several personal and

university credit cards were stolen out of the administrative area in the Bell Center.

” We did track down information as to what she did with the credit cards. She did make purchases on them. We still have not been able to catch her. We have sent out information to outside agencies to let them know,” said Patrick Trevino, TUPD officer.

The suspect is an African American female in her mid-twenties. Pictures of the  suspect using the stolen cards were sent out to the Trinity community. The case is still under investigation.

In addition to the stolen credit cards, three other separate thefts have been reported. The stolen items include a wallet stolen from a locker, an Iphone taken from the gym and a soccer bag stolen from a bus parked outside the Bell Center.

“They seem to be random thefts. These are unfortunately crimes of opportunity. Whether its someone affiliated with the institution or not they’re more of the opportunity of seeing your phone available and someone walking by and picking it up,” said Paul Chapa, chief of police.

The Bell Center is accessible to the public which creates difficulty in determining if the thief is a student or nonstudent.

According to Chapa, the three other thefts differ from the credit card thefts because the suspect in that case must have actively sought and surveillanced the area before stealing. The other thefts do not involve breaking into any area.

” This young woman was casing and surveilling the area, seeing what was available and going into offices. After she found the opportunity she took the items and charged and did other things to them,” Chapa said.

The staff at the Bell Center have been noticing more reports of stolen or lost items.

“People always come up to the desk and ask did anyone turn this in and they didn’t lose it. One guy was like “˜I literally put my watch down went to go use the restroom and came out from the stall and it was gone’. This year people have come up to me about four times,” said Anecia Richardson, sophomore and Bell Center worker.

According to Richardson, students have been reporting the thefts to TUPD. The thefts have been happening in different open areas of the Bell Center.

” I think it’s different people because it has been happening to girl’s locker rooms, boy’s locker rooms, and people’s stuff has been stolen out of the gym.  One of my teammates phone got stolen after practice at seven in the morning,” Richardson said.

Students are advised to be aware of their surroundings and secure their items while in the Bell Center.

“If something looks suspicious call us. A nice phrase I like to use is if you see something say something,” Chapa said.