Car Theft & Burglary Top Crime List

Car theft and burglary are the most prevelant crimes occuring on the St. John’s campus, according to public safety statistics for 2001. For the same year there was one reported incident of “forcible sex offenses.” There were no incidences reported in the other crimes the University tracks such as robbery, assault, arson and hate crimes.

According to the report, 23 cars were reported stolenin 2001, 13 less than were stolen in 2000.

Also, according to the St. John’s website ( there are over 18,000 students in attendance and during the course of the year there are almost 7,000 events and activities on the St. John’s campus. The Queens campus alone has an estimated two million cars per year on its campus.

“We have increased patrol, we’re trying to educate the public,” said Margaret McCann, executive director of Public Safety. “Don’t leave anything to entice thieves in plain view inside your car, like laptops or wallets.”

Laura Provenza, a student at St. John’s, said that most of her classes are at night and feels safer knowing that her car is less likely to be stolen now than in previous years.

McCann said that the highest amount of crime on campus occurs during the heaviest populated months of the year such as September through November and again in late January through May. The same holds true for the time of day, said McCann.

“The most incidents occur during the day tour, which is the time when there are the most people on campus.”

McCann said that there are three tours the officers patrol. The first is the midnight tour, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.; the day tour, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the evening tour from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

St. John’s Public Safety officers engage in routine motorized and foot patrols on a 24-hour basis and are stationed at various posts throughout campus. The Public Safety department maintains contact with the local 107th precinct of the NYPD.

With less than two months left in the year, Public Safety’s record of zero reported car thefts was broken last month with only one car theft to date.

Not all of St. John’s crime statistics show the same improvement; larceny statistics may appear to have gone up for the year 2002 with 87 reported occurrences so far, compared to only three reported in 2001. However, that is only due to current reinforcement to keep a record of activities that occur on campus, said McCann.

“Since I’ve arrived, the numbers of larceny cases has increased in number of reports filed only because I am demanding more reports to be documented to analyze data,” said McCann.

McCann also said that 75 to 85 percent of larcenies could and should have been easily avoided if people would take responsibility for their personal property.

“People should be more careful with their things if they value them,” said Cyrina Lewis, sophomore marketing major, “but at the same time we shouldn’t have to hold on to our things always thinking that someone is going to come around and take them.”

“We are in fact a very safe university,” says McCann. “By working hard and being attentive to the signs, intelligently approaching the factors involved and evaluating, we’re able to maintain and respond to occurrences on campus.”