MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Riley County Police Department sent out a release reminding students that those who live in "high-density student housing" are often targeted by criminals during school breaks because a majority of them are out of town.
According to the release, the RCPD and the Lawrence Police Department continue to work together to investigate the Kansas College Rapist . With the exception of the very first incident, each rape coincided with a break from classes at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.
The RCPD says it encourages all residents "to be vigilant in exercising personal safety," and to report any suspicious activity during the upcoming break. For those who do not travel, it is important to pay extra attention to activities surrounding your home.
The release states that the departments offer the following tips to help students in combating crimes of all types, and remind students that they should report crimes in progress to 911 immediately.
For non-emergent reports call (785) 537-2112 in Manhattan, or (785) 832-7509 in Lawrence. You can also contact CrimeStoppers by calling (785) 539-7777 in Manhattan and (785) 843-TIPS in Lawrence.
The departments are still actively investigating the Kansas College Rapist cases and will continue to follow up on any tips that are received. The Departments also encourage anyone with information to contact law enforcement.
- Install good quality locks on doors and windows. Deadbolt door locks are always best. Sliding glass patio doors are frequent points of entry for burglars. They should always be reinforced by wedging a stick or pole firmly in the lower track behind the door.
- Unplug your automatic overhead garage door opener when leaving for an extended period of time.
- Install peepholes in doors.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed so doors and windows are not obscured.
- Ask reliable neighbors to watch your residence when you are away. Keep newspapers, handbills, and mail picked up while you are gone.
- Keep valuables well hidden, especially checkbooks and extra checks. Record and safely store serial numbers from valuable items, such as electronics and firearms.
- Keep premises well-lit at night.
- Never let strangers into your home.
- Never give information indicating when you will or will not be at home to those you don't know or through social media.
- Never let strangers know if you live alone.
- If you are gone overnight, use automatic timers on interior lights to give the appearance that the residence is occupied.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Never open door to strangers; require ID of service repair people.
- Plan several escape routes from your home.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- If you come home and something looks wrong or different - do not enter, go to a safe place and call police.
- Keep money in a pocket instead of a purse or wallet.
- Portray a confident and self-reliant person, walk like you have a mission.
- Do not walk or jog alone at night.
- If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or the situation just does not seem right, trust your instincts and leave.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- If you are attacked or robbed, or you witness violence, contact the police immediately.
- Immediately report anyone seen watching people or acting suspicious.