The University of Nebraska at Omaha released a warning bulletin on Wednesday at noon in response to car break-ins that occurred Tuesday night in the Pacific Street parking garage.
The break-ins occurred at approximately 10 p.m., according to the warning bulletin. A total of 10 cars were broken into by two male suspects in a white Jeep Cherokee. The suspects left the garage at 10:19 p.m.
The Omaha Police Department is investigating the thefts, according to the bulletin. UNO’s Department of Public Safety is increasing patrols in and around garages on campus in response to the break-ins.
One of the cars that was broken into belongs to junior architectural engineering major Jacob Marsh. Marsh, who lives in a dorm at Maverick Landing, said he found out his car had been broken into after a group of public safety officers and residential assistants knocked on his door around 1 a.m.
“I thought I was in trouble or something but couldn’t think of what for,” Marsh said. “One of the public safety officers told me right off the bat I wasn’t in trouble or anything. One of the RAs said ‘we’re just here to let you know your car has been broken into in the garage.’”
Marsh said he then got dressed for the cold and waited in the lobby of Maverick Landing with several other students whose cars were broken into, while public safety notified students in other buildings about the break-ins.
Marsh said the group in Maverick Landing headed over to the garage where they talked to Omaha Police officers and UNO public safety officers and filled out reports.
“Then, I had to wait for forensics to look at my car since I couldn’t touch it or anything until the guy looked at it,” Marsh said. “Since he had 10 cars to look at and there was only one guy, it kind of took awhile.”
After forensics finished with his vehicle, Marsh said he then went through his car.
“I had papers all over my front seat that were scattered from my glove box,” Marsh said. “I had the shattered window and there was glass everywhere.”
A tool box Marsh received from his grandpa for Christmas was stolen from the back of his car and giftcards that were in his glove box were taken. Marsh said he called his dad, who came to help him clean the glass out of his car and cover the door.
“I just had a plastic bag where the window was supposed to be,” Marsh said. “The glass shop we were going to opened at 7, so since it was already 6:30, we decided to head there.”
Marsh’s car was fixed by Wednesday afternoon. He said that had parked his car not even an hour before the break-in occurred, which is why he was surprised about the break-in.
“You hear about people getting their cars broken into,” Marsh said, “but you don’t think it’s going to happen to you.”
The Department of Public Safety included several safety tips to help prevent break-ins in their warning bulletin:
- Always remove valuables from vehicles
- If you have to leave an item in your vehicle, place it out of sight
- If you place an item in the trunk of your vehicle, do so before you arrive at your destination
- If possible, park in a well-lit area
- Contact UNO Public Safety at (402) 554-2911 if you observe suspicious behavior