Arrest in car break-in on campus offers a security reminder

UOPD patrol car

The early-morning arrest of a man suspected of attempting to break into cars near the university on Sept. 30 stands as a reminder from police: Drivers shouldn't leave anything visible inside their vehicles. Even change.

University of Oregon police arrested Jeffrey Adam Kirkpatrick, 37 of Springfield, about 6 a.m. after Kirkpatrick allegedly tried to break into a car and then fled when confronted. A short time earlier, near 15th Avenue and Moss Street, a UOPD officer reported that he saw Kirkpatrick slowly ride his bike by a row of parked cars looking inside and then try to break into one of them as the officer pulled up in his police car.

Kirkpatrick pedaled away but wrecked his bike trying to jump a curb and then ran on foot until the officer cornered him in a dead end in a construction site. According to police, Kirkpatrick later admitted taking $8.12 in change from another car at 19th Avenue and Agate Street.

Kirkpatrick was booked into Lane County Jail on charges of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, attempted unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, interference with a peace officer and second-degree criminal trespass and on an outstanding warrant for possession of methamphetamine.

Police always advise drivers to not leave anything visible inside parked cars because many criminals will not think twice about smashing a window for a bit of loose change, let alone things of greater value.