Larcenies increase, liquor violations decline on Allendale Campus

GVL Photo Illustration / Robert Mathews
Crimes are currently on the rise at GVSU.

Robert Mathews

GVL Photo Illustration / Robert Mathews Crimes are currently on the rise at GVSU.

Chelsea Lane

Grand Valley State University’s latest crime statistics show that larceny, the unlawful acquisition of person property with the intent to deprive permenantly, continues to be the most commonly reported crime at the university, and it is currently on the rise.

In 2010, 129 larcenies were reported on the Allendale Campus, up from 83 in 2009 and 119 in 2008. Reported larcenies on the Pew Campus, however, decreased to 20 in 2010 from 25 in 2009 and 40 in 2008. Reported larcenies occurred not only in residence halls, but also in cars, classrooms and other academic areas.

“What we’ve found is that for most of the larcenies that occur on this campus, over 60 percent are preventable,” said Capt. Brandon DeHaan, assistant director of the Grand Valley Police Department. “These are crimes of opportunity where people leave their stuff behind or leave their stuff unattended.”

DeHaan added that GVPD’s on-campus housing orientation stresses larceny prevention and protecting valuables.

“Research shows that new students are often at a greater risk for experiencing some form of property victimization,” reads the GVPD Theft Prevention website. “Often victims have no affiliations with subject(s) who commit the property crime(s) against them.”

Meanwhile, liquor law violations, including minor in possession citations, have decreased, but drug violations have increased. The Allendale Campus’ reported drug offenses “almost entirely” involved marijuana, DeHaan said.

DeHaan said the decrease in liquor law violations could perhaps be attributed to more students either choosing to abstain from drinking or opting to drink more responsibly. He also believes the GVPD’s Youth Alcohol Enforcement Program, which began in 2003 and allows for increased law enforcement presence during key events such as Homecoming and football games, may have been a factor as well.

GVSU has maintained a low official overall crime rate during the past several years. There have been no reported cases of hate offenses, arson, illegal weapons possession or robbery in the university’s recent history. Although some crimes such as larceny are on the rise, DeHaan said small increases or decreases are common from year to year as students come and go.

“Those numbers will wax and wane over the course of the years, often because our population changes so greatly every year,” he said.

Under the Cleary Act, passed in 1990, all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs must disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. GVSU’s recent crime statistics are available for public viewing at

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Larceny on Campus Allendale Campus Pew Campus

2010 129 20 2009 83 25 2008 119 40