Vehicles broken into on campus

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By Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Burglary spree (Brittney Rye / Staff Photographer )

By Sandra Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Four cosmetology students’ cars were parked across from the cosmetology building and were broken into during the day of March 1.

Officer Lori-Ann Williams, Officer Steve Vaipulu, and Sergeant Jack Kohlmeier were the Riverside Community College police officers that responded to the crime.

“At every beginning of each semester we have contact burglaries,” said Officer Williams.

Officer Williams explained that the crimes should minimize as the semester moves on, but it is not predictable.

Mlonee Tyner is a cosmetology student that left early the day of the break-ins.

“I left around 3:15 in the afternoon and I heard a strange whistle as I walked through the parking lot but I didn’t think anything of it,” Tyner said.

She believes that the whistle may have been a distraction call from the burglars.

Between 3:15 p.m. when Tyner left campus to 4:30 p.m. when the rest of the cosmetology classes were released, four cars were broken into.

Brookelyn Vieira had nothing stolen from her car, but a window was broken and a few of her personal items were scattered throughout her car.

Many cosmetology students are asking the police why there are no cameras in the parking lots and why the police do not patrol more frequently.

Officer Vaipulu and Sergeant Kohlmeier patrol during the day and Officer Williams patrols in the evening.

However, RCC’s main campus is not the only campus these officers patrol.

Each officer patrols from RCC’s main campus to the Rubidoux Annex and Stroke Elementary, leaving the limitedly staffed campus police force spread thinly throughout it’s jurisdiction.

All three officers just so happened to be at RCC when the break-ins took place.

The police said they have discussed cameras with the school officials, but the faculty at RCC is out-voting them because of the Big Brother, Little Brother Act.

“I understand because of budget cuts that there cannot be an officer sitting up here,” Vieira said.

“But they could have done a fingerprint in case the burglar was already in the system,” Vieira said.

The students have been told that in order for cameras to be installed it must be a community decision and a petition should be signed.

One of the four students who wished not to be named had all of her personal belongings in her car and the only item that was stolen was her cell phone.

While some students report only minor objects missing, other cosmetology students had their $1,500 cosmetology kits taken.

These kits include MAC make-up, professional hair products, manicure and pedicure stationary sets, and doll heads used to practice hair cuts on.

The students are starting to think that whoever is breaking into the cars is watching them and knows the cosmetology schedule.

Campus police state that there is nothing they can do except take a break in report and tell students, faculty and staff not to leave valuable belongings in their cars.  

Go to for more information and updates on other crimes on campus.

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