Despite recent break-ins, Temple says thefts down 30% compared to last year

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temple University says they had four reported break-ins at off-campus housing during the past two weeks, but there's no reason to be alarmed.

The thieves busted the student's door apart on the 1600 block of West Diamond. The victim says the criminals stole her TV and some alcohol.

Temple says residential thefts for 2020 are down 30% compared to the first four months of 2019.

Student, Matt Kelly, says he received alerts about the crimes but seemed unfazed.

"I think it's just because probably students have gone home and are doing online classes and less people are here to see what's going on," said Kelly.

Temple sent out a notice to students when the pandemic began, urging them to lock windows and doors, close blinds and just be aware.

Maureen Rush, vice president of Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania, says it's easier to detect mischief due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

"Because there's so few people on the streets, it's pretty easy to see if someone is up to some mischief," said Rush.

Rush tells Action News her police department has received three reported burglaries at off-campus housing since March 1, roughly the same as last year.

Her University has what's called the "Special Check Program" where students can sign up to have the exterior of registered properties patrolled while on spring or winter breaks. The university says it's now patrolling all properties.

"We are not waiting for people to register their properties. We've been doing full-blown special checks at every house, every building, every church, etc in the Penn patrol zone," Rush said.

Drexel University reports no recent break-ins on or off campus since the pandemic began.

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