Section: News

Student’s car tires and rims stolen from South 2 parking lot

Grace Potter ’24 received a call from the Office of Campus Safety last weekend informing her that all four of the tires and their rims had been stolen from her Toyota RAV4, which had been parked in the South 2 parking lot. While the exact time of the theft is unclear, it likely occurred either Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

 Although the Kenyon community has witnessed a number of bike and catalytic converter thefts in the past year, as well as break-ins at a New Apartment and a North Campus Apartment over last year’s Thanksgiving break, nobody had yet been victim to the theft of all four of their vehicle’s tires. “In the experience of officers on Campus Safety, including an officer with 39 years’ experience, this is the first time that an incident like this involving all the tires being taken from a vehicle has occurred on campus,” Director of Campus Safety Michael Sweazey wrote in an email to Collegian

 Potter’s tires were only a week old, which may have tempted thieves. Following the theft, Potter filed an official incident report with Campus Safety as well as with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), though she has not yet heard back from the KCSO with any more information regarding potential leads or suspects. Due to the absence of security cameras or lights in the South 2 parking lot, there are no recordings available to aid in the process of finding the culprit(s).

 In the days since the event, Potter tried to call a tow truck company to pick up her car, but the company was ultimately unable to provide the service because the car’s missing tires meant that the vehicle could not be rolled onto the truck bed. Mechanics will need to come to campus later this week to install new tires and rims.

In response to the incident, Campus Safety has sent Student-Info and Employee-Info emails advising community members to take proper safety precautions to best protect themselves and their belongings, such as closing and locking all doors to dormitories and cars and using a U-lock for bikes left on bike racks, or, if possible, storing bikes indoors­­ — a precaution that has not been permitted in the past due to safety concerns. There has been no clear communication as to how students should protect their car’s tires, and regarding Potter’s situation, it does not appear that much has been or can be done. “So far it has not been much at all,” Potter said. “They’re not making me move my car, which is nice, because I can’t, but that’s it.”

 Campus Safety’s current call to action for the Kenyon community is to take as many safety precautions as possible in order to best protect yourself and your belongings. 

 “Unfortunately, while this area is generally a safe area, it is not a crime-free area,” Sweazey wrote in an email to the Collegian.  “Thefts do occur, and we encourage all members of the community to help us by utilizing the RAVE Guardian app or to call us if they observe any suspicious activity on or around campus.”

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