Crimes on campus spark further safety precautions

By Rena Ketelsen– Several minor incidents on campus since the beginning of the semester have kept campus security busy.

Multiple emails have been sent out since this semester, cautioning students to lock their cars and not leave any items of value in them. The reason? Several reported incidents of vehicle vandalism and theft of items that had been left inside cars.

This semester, there have been about eight reported incidents so far, according to the director of safety and security, Brett Lyon. The most recent, and generally most common, incidents have been broken car windows and stolen items from cars. The majority of these happen on weekend nights and are due to students not locking their cars or leaving valuables inside.

Senior Jaedyn Mauck had something similar happen to her a year ago. 

She recounted, “Last year, when I went to my car, I noticed that everything in my car was thrown around like someone was searching for something.”

Lyon and his department have been encouraging students to make sure that their cars are locked, and nothing is left behind in them. 

Lyon explained, “If you don’t give them an opportunity by leaving purses and cash or anything like that in your vehicle, they’re not going to break into your vehicle.”

Students who may experience a theft or other incident are encouraged to report it to campus security and then to the Sioux City Police Department (SCPD). The SCPD needs the information to identify it as in independent event or as part of a larger pattern in the area or city.

The Safety and Security Department has taken several measures against further incidents. They are working with the SCPD who have stepped up their patrols on campus. Lyon’s department also has a contract with the Sioux City Night Patrol who are on campus 24 hours a week. They help on weekend nights – typically on campus for six hours per night.

The department’s own staff has increased patrols, too, especially in certain areas which have faced more incidents. Other than that, the department has mounted two new security cameras facing the pool parking lot by Lags Hall. They are still waiting on two more cameras which will also be installed in the apartment lots.

Nevertheless, according to Lyon, Morningside’s campus is considered to be safe and secure. The most serious incident in his almost 15 years that he has worked here happened several years ago. A sexual predator had managed to get into one of the residents’ halls but was quickly caught. The individual was tied to a crime in Omaha, Neb., and is currently in prison for several different cases.

October 18, 2021