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Break-In Photo Illustration

One OU student had two flat screen TVs and a pair of Air Jordans stolen over break

Amount of break-ins over winter break “normal,” according to APD. Officers responded to three reports of break-ins during the break, one of which resulted in $2,000 in losses.

When Alec Fraser returned to his Court Street apartment after winter break, he realized his two flat-screen TVs, a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap and a pair of Air Jordans sneakers were missing.

Fraser, a junior studying athletic training, wasn’t the only Athens resident to have items stolen in the four weeks Ohio University was on winter break. Thefts frequently occur during break, local police warned students before they left Athens.

The Athens Police Department responded to five reports of suspected break-ins or burglaries from Dec. 12  to Jan. 12.

Fraser reported $2,000 worth of belongings stolen from his apartment, 27½ Court St. Other items stolen included a tool belt, sneakers and various knives.

“As you would expect, coming home to find out your stuff had been taken is never a good feeling, especially when you work for the things you have,” Fraser said in an email. “The most stressful part was that I had a discussion about taking the TV home or not, but what can you do?”

Fraser said he doesn’t have renter’s insurance and has already begun replacing the stolen items himself. He added APD officers were “as helpful as they could be given the circumstances,” though there are currently no suspects.

Brent Hartman, owner of O’Nail-Hartman Insurance Agency in The Plains, said a renter’s insurance policy is one way students could protect themselves against the crippling loss of personal belongings.

Typical renter’s insurance policies cost tenants $10 to $15 per month, Hartman said, and often covers up to $25,000 in losses. The renter’s monthly insurance fee is tied to the size of a customer’s deductible — the amount of money he or she would pay out of pocket toward losses — Hartman said. Customers choose their own deductibles, he added.

Hartman said some renters’ parents might have homeowner’s insurance plans that cover off-site losses, so renters might want to check with their parents before committing to a plan that might be unnecessary. 

Fraser’s case was the highest reported monetary loss from a burglary during break, though tenants of a Mill Street home found Jan. 8 that their residence had been broken into, causing roughly $1,000 in damages. The tenants declined to comment. 

On Christmas Eve, officers responded to a reported break-in at Subway, 914 E. State St. The incident is still under investigation.

APD officers will check residents’ homes while they are on vacation by request, only requiring that the resident fill out a form at the Athens Police Department, 11 N. College St. Officers will then visit the home periodically and check to make sure the home has not been breached.

However, the department usually has fewer than 20 requests for the service during university breaks, said APD Captain Ralph Harvey.

“We had some car break-ins as well,” Harvey said. “Rarely do we have a car where they smash in to get in; usually it’s unlocked, and it’s a crime of opportunity.”

Police said there were about four car break-ins during the same time period.

Harvey said in these cases, people usually open five to six unlocked cars in search of something consumable, or a single item expensive enough to sell.


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