Nine motor vehicle crimes reported last weekend

College of Communication senior Eric Ricafrente was the victim of one of several recent car break-ins. Photo courtesy of Eric Ricafrente.

Friday night, when Rebecca Pierre went back to a lot in the 2000 block of W. Wisconsin Ave. where she had parked her car earlier, she noticed all her doors were unlocked. As she walked around the car to the driver’s side door, she then found her front left window smashed in and an estimated $550 worth of property stolen.

Pierre, a first-year graduate student studying physical therapy, also had an estimated $600 in damage to her car.

Pierre was the victim of one of nine motor vehicle crimes that took place around Marquette’s campus this past weekend. Five of the crimes took place at Valley Fields’ East parking lot.

Of the nine total incidents, five were acts of vandalism and five were acts of theft from a motor vehicle. Pierre was reported as the victim of a theft. Three of the five crimes at the Valley Fields lot were thefts.

The victims in the Valley Fields lot were attendees of a lacrosse camp, and their cars were broken into while at they were at the camp. It is suspected that the perpetrators of all the crimes at Valley Fields are the same subjects.

It is still unknown who the perpetrators are at this time, but Captain Russell Shaw of Marquette’s Department of Public Safety said crimes at Valley Fields are typically unusual.

“It is unfortunate because we don’t usually have problems down at Valley Fields, but whoever decided to come down there probably saw the vehicles parked away from where the camp was,” Shaw said. “It was basically a crime of opportunity at that time.”

Although no suspects have yet been named, DPS obtained a video of a car driving away from the fields at an unusual time.

“We did see a vehicle leaving the area that did appear to be out of the ordinary for the time frame it left the lot and certainly did not appear to be a camp member,” Shaw said.

The other four crimes around campus were randomly dispersed around DPS’s patrol area.

“Every now and then we have vandalism problems,” Shaw said. “It is probably due to the amount of large activity on Friday and Saturday nights.”

For now, the case has been turned over to the Milwaukee Police Department. During its investigation, MPD fingerprinted the victims’ cars. However, Shaw said it is extremely difficult to get a specific fingerprint off of a handle with so many prints on it already.

Even before the crimes Sunday, facility directors have been looking into getting a sliding gate to help keep vehicles secure inside the lot at Valley Fields.

The total estimated damage and property taken for the vehicles in the Valley Fields parking lot is roughly $3,270. The total damage of four of the vandalized cars is $1,650, but the damage amount is still unknown for the fifth vehicle.

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