Samford University’s Department of Public Safety arrested a man last month for allegedly breaking into and stealing from vehicles on campus, according to Samford Chief of Police R. Wayne Pittman.
“We have been looking for this guy for several months. We caught him on campus six months ago for breaking into vehicles,” Pittman said.
The individual was on campus during the day on March 2, 2018. He was driving an unknown, but conspicuous looking, grayish-blue Chevrolet Silverado, according to Pittman, who shared the details of the man’s arrest. A car alarm went off in the lower Wright Center parking lot, which prompted an officer to investigate while others secured exits from the campus. Public Safety called in Homewood police for back-up. Officers tried to get the perpetrator out of the vehicle but he resisted. Once officers were able to secue the subject and remove the keys from the ignition, they noticed whatappeared to be stolen items in the car.
The officers were able to identify the man as the same one who had been on campus months earlier and broken into cars. The truck he was driving was reported stolen out of Hoover along with a stolen National Guard decal from Birmingham. Officers also found stolen boat decals in the car.
The subject had stolen from vehicles across the state, according to Pittman. Police had to try and match him to the other incidents. The individual was charged and processed, but has since gotten out on bail.
“Our number one goal is the safety of the campus, so you don’t have to worry about what’s happening,” Pittman said.
Public Safety has various precautions in place to help ensure campus safety, such as special IDs for contractors coming on campus to work. These contractors also go through background checks before being hired, according to Pittman. The Department of Public Safety has a force of 18 sworn officers and two security officers that serve the campus 24 hours a day. Each shift usually consists of five officers, but could be three or four officers if one is sick or off, said Pittman.
Most of the officers come from a background with extensive police experience.
The department responds any time a fire alarm goes off and answer any questions people may have about public safety or transportation. The department is also responsible for putting out cones for reserved parking and operating the West Gate at nighttime.The department currently has two vehicles, but just recently acquired a Ford Explorer which will go in to service later this month.
Daniel Dodson, News Writer