Campus Watch Archives

Dec. 1, 2018

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week:
Know the resources that are available to you. You can reach your District Representative and learn more about UTPD by reviewing our website, police.utexas.edu. If you feel unsafe, it’s best to dial 911, and at this time, phone apps aren’t the best way to get help to your location as quickly as possible.

Our partners with the City of Austin also have two apps that can help keep you informed:
Austin Police Department App

APD has partnered with Austin-based startup company MobilePD to develop this application in an effort to increase transparency and openness with the community, with the ultimate goal of increasing crime tips and reports from citizens. AustinPD is free and available via the iTunes Store, the Google Play Store and the mobile web for other platforms.
Austin 3-1-1 App

The Austin 3-1-1 app enables users to work with city departments to make Austin the most livable city in the country. Users can download the app from the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store. Users with Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices can access it at 311.austintexas.gov.

Campus Watch: Below is a summary of campus criminal activity reported to or observed by The University of Texas At Austin Police Department Patrol Officers between Sunday 11/25/18 and Saturday 12/1/1.

11/30/2018, at 6:00 p.m., 305 Inner Campus Drive (Sutton Hall).

A UT Student made a phone report that someone had called her cell phone and identified themselves as “state police.” The caller knew many specific details about the student, such as her date of birth, address, and college department. The caller then claimed the student’s immigration paperwork had errors, and the student would need to pay a fine over the phone to avoid a criminal arrest. The student then went to a local store, bought gift cards, and provided the card numbers over the phone. This is a common scam that targets members of the UT Austin community who are citizens of other countries. One good prevention step we can take is to restrict our student directory information. Also, it’s important to know that no law enforcement agency, immigration agency, or the IRS will call you and demand payment over the phone, nor do they take payment in gift cards. If you’re ever suspicious that the person calling you isn’t who he or she claims they are, tell then you’ll call them back, then look up the number to their agency and call that agency.

11/30/2018, at 7:18 p.m., 2200 block of the San Antonio Street Alleyway.

An officer patrolling West Campus observed a man swaying and intoxicated, and based on the odor, the officer believed this man had smoked marijuana. When asked what he was doing, the man denied smoking marijuana, and said he was just “hanging out” in the dark section of this alleyway. The officer then noticed the man had dropped an Altoids tin, and a small amount of marijuana had fallen out of the tin. At this point, the man admitted he was smoking marijuana. Again, it’s critical for each individual in our community to make good decisions for their personal safety, and being intoxicated and alone in this alleyway is not a good decision. The marijuana was seized for destruction, and the man was directed home without criminal charges being filed.

11/30/2018, at 9:13 p.m., 108 E Martin Luther King Blvd, (Blanton Museum of Art).

Making a False Alarm, Criminal Trespass: UTPD dispatch received numerous Callbox activations outside of the Blanton Museum of Art, but heard no one over the line. The UT Austin campus has nearly 200 Police Intercom Callboxes, which are yellow poles with blue lights on top. Activating these callboxes immediately sends a police response, even if no one is heard on the intercom. Police arrived almost immediately at the Callbox and observed a familiar face walking away. They recognized a man UTPD has arrested more than two dozen times for activating our callboxes when no emergency exists, which is a serious crime at an educational institution. The man was arrested and given (yet another) Criminal Trespass Warning, barring him from ever coming back into UT Austin property. He was then transported to the Travis County Jail.

12/1/2018, at 11:28 a.m., 2624 Whitis Ave, (Almetrius Duren Residence Hall).

Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor: A UT Austin Student living in Duren Hall called 911 to report his friend was intoxicated to the point he was not responsive. UTPD officers arrived to help Austin/Travis County EMS locate the student. They found him in a community restroom, assisted by the heavy odor of alcohol and unfortunately of a rather large amount of vomit. Fortunately, the student’s natural reaction to expel the excessive alcohol also helped him recover, and he was completely conscious when EMS medics determined he did not require hospitalization. He was left in the custody of his friend. Remember, a critical component in personal safety is simply having a sober person around to make good decisions. UTPD determined the intoxicated student was under the age of 21, and had committed Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor, however because his friend called 911 to get him assistance, Medical Amnesty was invoked, and no criminal charges would be pursued. It’s likely that the man’s hangover the next morning will provide some level of education about abusing alcohol.

*The University of Texas Police Department responded to 643 calls for service. 212 Alarm Activations, 100 Foot Patrols, 74 Traffic Violations, and 11 Welfare Concerns between Sunday 11/25/18 and Saturday 12/1/1.

This week's Campus Watch was prepared by: Officer Dustin Farahnak.