MHCC stresses vigilance to curtail auto thefts
One of the most recent incidents of attempted car theft at Mt. Hood Community College saw one suspect get caught twice in two days.
On Wednesday, May 2, a Gresham Police officer responded to the campus on a report of an attempted vehicle theft. The owner said she found an unknown woman sitting inside her pickup that was parked in the lot.
In a moment of quick thinking, the owner snapped a photo of the woman before she fled, giving it to the officer. The next day a different officer stopped a stolen Honda near the intersection of 190th Avenue and Yamhill Street. Police arrested the same woman, identified as 21-year-old Winter Cullum.
This school year, which started Sept. 1, 2017, there have been 10 reports of car theft at the campus at 26000 S.E. Stark St., according to Gresham Police Department records. During that same time frame, officers have also recovered five cars that had been left in the lots.
The MHCC security team tracks more data, reporting that since Jan. 4 there have been nine attempted car thefts at the campus.
"We want to educate people and have everybody report when they see something suspicious," said Wayne Feagle, MHCC Manager of Public Safety.
The automobile thefts at the school represent a larger problem that spreads across the community. The most common makes of cars stolen, according to data collected by the Portland Police Bureau, are Hondas, Subarus and Nissans. Almost half are stolen between 6 p.m. and midnight.
"The number of thefts we have on the campus aren't as big of a problem as it is in the surrounding areas," Feagle said.
One of the reasons are the security cameras overlooking the parking lots. Campus security is also trying to get students and visitors to remain vigilant while on campus. If someone sees something suspicious, call security at 503-491-7310, or call 503-491-7911 if it's an emergency.