UNLV's location could be contributing to recent rash of crime

UNLV's location may be contributing to the recent rash of crimes reported at the school this month.

University police alerted students Tuesday about several car break-ins and a sexual assault that happened on campus in April.

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"The biggest challenge is just that we're smack dab in the middle of Las Vegas," said UNLV Police Sgt. Paul Valez.

Valez said UNLV Police officers face a unique challenge when it comes to protecting the school. The school sits less than 2 miles from the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

"It's a big urban area, there's a lot of foot traffic a lot of vehicle traffic, and we are an open campus," Sgt. Valez said.

Valez said many of the crimes university police investigate are not committed by students or staff, rather by criminals who do not have an affiliation with the school.

In the last week, the one-mile radius surrounding the school saw more than 70 crimes reported, according to Crime Mapping.

"If you look around you see a lot of homeless people, drug addicts and just a lot of crime dealings," said senior Mandy Chitwood.

The consensus among students is that they would like to see more patrols on campus, given that UNLV is a public school.

UNLV Police said they do plan to add more officers to patrol the school and are also adding 19 additional emergency call boxes.

Here are some campus safety reminders from UNLV Police:

  • Remain vigilant at all times.
  • Thieves look for targets of opportunity.  Always remove your keys, roll up your windows, and lock your vehicle. Never leave your car unattended while it's running.
  • Secure valuables out of sight.
  • Install an anti-theft device and avoid leaving your car in parking lots for extended periods of time without returning to it. For instance, if you leave your vehicle in a lot overnight or for multiple days, be sure to check on your vehicle and move it regularly as this will make your vehicle less of a target of opportunity.
  • Pre-program (702) 895-3669 in your cell phone to expedite your call to University Police. Calls to 911 from a non-campus phone go to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which is forwarded to the UNLV Police Services Emergency Communications & Dispatch Center.
  • Download UNLV’s RebelSAFE mobile safety app, which allows you to directly call the UNLV Police Department Emergency Communications Center on your smartphone. Download the app through iTunes, the Google Play Store, or the department’s RebelSAFE page.
  • Learn more about safety tips on our crime prevention tips webpage.
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