Two University of the Virgin Islands staffers living in the Faculty East campus housing were recently burglarized in broad daylight despite surveillance cameras and, in one case, bars because only one security officer is on duty during the day shift.
The concerned victims say trimmed bushes, re-positioned surveillance cameras and more day-time security would help.
UVI officials say they have tried to increase the officer presence in the area and are working to further secure it.
But residents aren't satisfied. And while they're pushing UVI officials to provide more security, they also have created an informal "buddy system" to watch over one another's homes.
After UVI microcomputer specialist Erik Pattison's home — with bars and a private alarm system — was broken into late last year for the second time in six months, he decided the situation wasn't shaping up, so he shipped out.
Two weeks after the second break-in, he was gone.
Dr. Vincent Cooper, professor of English, was the next victim.
Cooper's losses, which included jewelry, watches, a VCR, three CD players and a new lap-top computer, totaled several thousands of dollars. But more importantly, he feels robbed of his security and peace of mind.
"After a burglary nobody can feel safe," he said. "We are expecting them to come back at any time."
Rudolph Blaize, UVI's security chief, said some action has been taken to alleviate the problem.
"We have security stay at Faculty East longer so they are more visible," he said.
But while four or five of 16 security officers share the early morning and late night shifts, there still is only one officer on duty from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — the hours of concern for residents.
Blaize said he is also awaiting an estimate of how much it would cost to re-position surveillance cameras to face the homes' front doors and the walkway instead of the parking lot, as Cooper and others have suggested.
Cooper also wants shrubs cut back — something else that hasn't been done yet.
Meanwhile, Cooper and others have formed a crime-watch buddy system "to watch over each other. We are more vigilant now than before."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email