Police searching for suspect in UofM car break-ins

The suspect's getaway car (Source: MPD)
The suspect's getaway car (Source: MPD)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - University of Memphis' parking lot on Southern Avenue stays full throughout the week.

Students and staff hurry to campus for class then back to their cars to go home for the night.

It's possible in that rush essential and valuable items were forgotten inside cars and spotted by a thief.

Memphis investigators said one man was seen on camera in two car break-ins earlier this month and used a 2003 style tan Oldsmobile Aurora to make his escape.

"I don't even know if there is a security system in my car, it makes me want to make sure that there is one," UofM student Dominique McManis said.

McManis parks in the lot four out of the five days a week for class and she admits from time to time she's guilty of leaving something of worth behind in her car.

"Sometimes I will leave my phone and I'll pray I'll leave it like in the seat of something," McManis said. "Or my wallet because I don't usually bring my wallet with me, so I try to keep it in the glove department."

According to Memphis police, a laptop, textbooks, and backpacks were taken from the two cars.

"I don't care if I am in the suburbs or the hood or wherever," UofM student Osama Almasri said. "If I have my backpack I am carrying it with me, never leaving my sight."

MPD's CyberWatch shows a total of three vehicle thefts in that lot so far for the 2017-18 school year.

Still, many students don't want to leave it up to chance.

"My car isn't that shiny and doesn't stick out from the rest, so I don't think that anyone would break into my car anytime soon," Almasri said. "But just for the sake of safety I always make sure to take my stuff with me and never leave anything valuable in my car."

Experts say if you are going to stash items in your car, do it before your park so thieves lurking in the parking lot don't spot you hiding your valuables.

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