Larceny and Controlled Substances Top Campus Crimes
The University of Central Oklahoma Police Department provides the campus with a way to feel safe without relying on Edmond PD. UCOPD operates directly on campus and deals with all campus matters. Photo by Cara Johnson, The Vista.
The University of Central Oklahoma ranks 11 out of 21 in the list of the safest college campuses in the state, but according to the UCO crime log from January to June of 2016, the top three crimes committed on campus were larceny, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and notice to leave campus.
Chief of UCO Police, Jeff Harp is involved in investigating crimes committed on campus. Harp said that there were 29 counts of larceny on campus, and it is the most frequent crime committed.
“Yearly there are over 100 reports of larceny on the UCO campus, and many don’t get reported,” Harp said. “Larceny is 99 percent a crime of opportunity, so the trick to not being a victim of larceny is to not create an opportunity.”
Larceny, robbery, and burglary are three types of crimes that are usually property related.
“Larceny is simply when somebody takes something that belongs to you, so maybe they’ve stolen your bicycle that’s parked outside your house or your apartment. Statute says that they intend to deprive you of it. Larceny is one of the most common and most frequent crimes on the planet,” Harp said.
The second most commonly committed crime at UCO, with 19 counts, is possession and distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS).
“A Controlled Dangerous Substance is anything: marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin or prescription drugs that are illegally obtained or possessed,” Harp said.
The difference between possession and distribution is the quantity and packaging of the substance.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) does not occur as often on the UCO campus as possession or distribution of a CDS. UCO police officers recorded 11 DUIs this year. The age of the person given the DUI is not recorded, but the person is arrested and taken to jail immediately.
There was only one count of public intoxication this year.
This crime ranks third for the most common crimes at UCO and it falls under trespassing. The crime is a ‘Notice to Leave Campus’ and has been committed 11 times in the past six months.
If they are not affiliated with the University (not a student or faculty member) and they are disturbing the peaceful activities of the institution (selling prescription or illegal drugs on campus or other like activities), UCO Police officers can tell them to leave campus immediately and not to return for six months.
If they do come back to campus before six months has passed, you are charged with a misdemeanor and immediately arrested.
Stalking and harassment can also be charged with a notice to leave campus.
“Usually there is some sexual or emotional underpinning to stalking,” Harp said. “People will think ‘Ahh the police cant do anything.’ Well we want to know if something happens to you so we can put resources in there and try to figure out what’s going on.”
There have been four reported counts of stalking and harassment from January to June. UCO police said there are probably many that are not reported every year.
Along with the 29 counts of larceny, there were six counts of burglary and one count of robbery. These are all property-related crimes, which are sometimes associated with one another but are different.
“Robbery is essentially described as the taking of property using force or fear,” Harp said. “Robbery is when somebody comes up and grabs something, or they threaten you with a gun or a knife and say ‘Give me that.’ That’s robbery.”
“People will call and say ‘I was robbed.’ No, you weren’t. You were burglarized,” Harp said.
The crime of a burglar could involve vandalism, but burglary usually occurs when valuable items are stolen.
“Burglary is not always associated with theft, but it normally is. Burglary is when somebody has broken into a place, and it requires that they are not allowed to be there,” Harp said. “Typically look for some force: They’ve crawled over a wall, maybe kicked in a door, broken in a window, and then they’ve committed a crime wherever they were.”
The UCO police officers request that no matter how small the situation may seem, always contact them if there is a problem. If students do this, the problem can be recorded, and resources will be put in the problem area to aid other students and to eventually prevent the crime from happening again.