Asking Arizona: Why is there a lack of security in ASU's parking garages?

ASU security guard says low number of thefts and burglaries doesn't necessitate increased security

Asking Arizona is the most accessible way for The State Press' readers to get their questions about the ASU community answered. 

The question:

Why do the parking structures not have security cameras in them? How much is lost in criminal damage and vehicle burglaries per year?

The answer:

Some on-campus parking structures do have security cameras, but there are not many incidents of theft of burglary in the garages.

The explanation: 

ASU has multiple parking lots and parking pass options, with prices varying depending on location. 

Brenda Carrasco, a spokesperson for ASU PD, said ASU officers in 2018 made 3,131 activity checks at Tempe parking structures and 3,513 checks at the downtown Phoenix parking structures. 

Carrasco also said that there were 24 vehicular burglaries at ASU parking structures in all of 2018. Additionally, ASU Police Crime and Fire logs provide more detail on incidents. 

Phoenix Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Vince Lewis said both property theft and vehicular theft are crimes of opportunity. 

Lewis said that property theft is often easily preventable, and that simply locking one's car and getting valuables out of sight are large steps in helping to avoid property theft, regardless of where one's car is parked. 

“It’s especially prevalent around the holiday seasons," he said. "People go shopping from place to place and leave their bags in the car in plain sight.”

Lewis said that aside from protecting one's property, there is a correlation between an increased use of security cameras and decreased theft. 

He also said that in his experience, there is far less property theft from cars and stolen vehicles around ASU's downtown Phoenix campus than other areas in Phoenix.

ASU parking has also been criticized for its high parking pass cost, limited space and quantity of parking tickets given to students. 

For Marcus Tillman, a criminology and criminal justice sophomore who said he commutes between campuses and often uses University parking, safety is something he thinks about only after he has left the parking lot. 

“I’d describe it as a neutral state until you get out of the car and actually walk to campus,” Tillman said. “I park at the Fourth Avenue lot, and you run into some interesting people on your way to class.” 

Tillman said he has never seen ASU security on or around the lot. However, despite the surrounding area, he said he believes more security is not necessary. 

“I’ve never really heard of anyone’s car getting stolen or broken into at ASU parking,” Tillman said. "It seems like if there aren’t many instances of it happening. It would be a weird use of resources."

ASU security guard Cheyenne Still said that while student safety has always been the top priority, she rarely finds herself needed outside of the campus buildings. 

“I do a lot of reporting, mostly,” Still said. “When it comes to campus security, especially downtown (Phoenix), it’s a lot of making sure that people are where they’re supposed to be and doing what they’re supposed to do. The best place for that is on campus where all the students are."


Reach the reporter at kreinha3@asu.edu and follow @ReinhartKatelyn on Twitter.

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