Students living in apartment complexes east of the University of Nevada, Reno, campus have fallen victim to a recent series of vehicle break-ins and car theft.
The group of complexes affected are popular off-campus student housing buildings — with The Highlands and The Sterling Summit both confirmed as victims of recent thefts. In the past 30 days, two cars have been stolen from The Highlands and one vehicle break-in has occurred, according to the Reno Police Department’s area incidents map. Sterling Summit employee Julie Morris confirmed that there have been four vehicle-related crimes at the complex.
One Highlands resident, Jordan Eddy, had her car stolen from her covered parking spot on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Since then, she has voiced her criticism of The Highlands on Twitter, specifically their lack of cameras and lighting.
“I questioned the front office when I went in to file a report and asked them, ‘How many cars is it going to take to change and make sure you guys are taking appropriate measures so that this doesn’t continue?’ There was a very generic answer and so far, a week later, there is nothing being done,” Eddy said.
The recent crime has caused upper management at The Highlands to revamp their security by hiring new overnight guards, changing their gate settings, and requiring guests to be escorted on and off property, as explained in an email sent to residents.
“The front gates to the parking lot were adjusted to the anti-tailgate setting so cars are not able to follow you into the property after you swipe in,” said Jennifer Starr, general manager at The Highlands, “We have doubled our security overnight to two guards with increased hours. One roaming guard and one static guard at the front gate.”
Starr also aims to answer Eddy’s qualms by adding cameras and improving lighting in the parking lot.
“We are currently getting bids to increase the amount of security cameras around the property, specifically at the front entry gate,” Starr said.
In the meantime, Starr has advised residents to stay alert and vigilant. She believes that thieves are targeting vehicles with items of value.
Despite these promises, Eddy remains hesitant and wary of the security in The Highlands. She believes due to the area’s demographics, it will always attract crime.
“I do think crimes and auto thefts are high in the area because college kids are easy targets. I still have not recovered my car and I feel as if this is just the beginning to what is to come,” Eddy said.
When asked about the thefts, The Highlands management declined to comment.
Paolo Zialcita can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.