Pitzer Crime Frightens Students

An off-campus Pitzer College student was the victim of an attempted robbery at gunpoint last Friday, wrote Acting Vice President of Students Affairs Moya Carter in an e-mail to the Pizter community Dec. 4.

The incident occurred at the Chevron gas station at Foothill Boulevard and Claremont Boulevard. The student was not hurt, Carter wrote.

She also wrote that theft is ongoing problem affecting the Claremont Colleges, with a recent cell phone theft adding to the trend of bicycle thefts.

Lucia Reynolds PZ ’13 said that in mid-October, a college-aged woman asked to borrow her iPhone 4S and then ran with it to a nearby car, which drove away.

Reynolds said that there recently has been a lot of property theft at the 5Cs. 

“I don’t feel as safe as I once did in terms of my belongings,” she said. 

Bike theft has been a particular problem, she said. 

“Four of even just my group of friends have had their bikes stolen,” she said. 

The rate of reported bike theft has generally increased in recent years at the 5Cs, as reported in an article in the Nov. 9 issue of TSL.

However, Eli Emigh PZ ’13 said that bike thefts have been a persistent problem since his first year at Pitzer.

“The rate of incidences is probably about the same,” he said. “There’s definitely been more reporting of them.”

Reynolds said that it could just be a matter of increased reporting. 

However, she said, “It seems like it’s a pretty popular sentiment that a lot more bikes are being stolen.”

Whether bike thefts are more common or just more frequently reported, some students feel less safe on campus because of them. 

Claire Bartlett PZ ’15 said, “After one o’clock, when no one’s really around, since there’s been so many bike thefts, the idea’s entered my mind that I could be unsafe.”

However, students said they consider Pitzer to be a safe place. 

Although property theft has increased, Reynolds said, “I feel safe as a person.”  

Emigh said that, compared to many other colleges, the consortium sees relatively little crime. 

"That was the most extreme thing I’ve heard probably since I’ve been at Pitzer," he said of the attempted armed robbery. 

“While these threats exist, it should be a cause of concern, it shouldn’t be a cause for paranoia,” he said. 

Carter urged caution in her e-mail. 

“It is indeed a busy time in the semester and students understandably tend to become preoccupied with existing assignments and deadlines,” she wrote. “Please remember to remain aware of your surroundings.”

She advised students to travel in pairs when walking off campus or through the 5Cs at night, and to contact Campus Safety if they need an escort through campus. 

She also advised students to lock their bikes correctly with a U-lock.