West Liberty Campus Police reports recent thefts from vehicles


WLU Campus Police

A copy of the press release sent out to the student body regarding the stealing of catalytic converters.

Last month, several catalytic converters were stolen from cars around the West Liberty University campus and surrounding areas. A total of four catalytic converters were stolen from cars on the WLU campus. Two were stolen from the parking lot outside of Hughes Hall and one was taken from the top parking lot outside of Krise Hall. The location of the fourth incident is unclear. Three of the cars targeted on campus were Hondas with the fourth being a Toyota.

The first report of a missing converter was given to the WLU Police Department during the afternoon of Sep. 15. Security footage revealed that at 2 a.m. the night prior, two individuals wearing blackout clothing had parked at Liberty Oaks parking lot, walked towards the Hughes parking lot through the woods and straight to the targeted vehicles, two Honda CR-V’s.

Around a week later, a third converter was reported stolen from a Toyota in the upper parking lot of Krise Hall prompting the West Liberty Police Department to send an email to the campus community to make them aware of the situation on Sep. 26.

Following the email, a fourth individual came forward to report their catalytic converter as stolen from August 30 though this was not reported initially.

Since the update from the campus police was sent, no new instances of theft have been reported, though this appears to be an ongoing issue in the Ohio Valley area. Several instances have been recorded over the last few months across West Liberty, Wheeling, Warwood and Bethany.

The West Liberty Police Department has increased the number of patrols throughout campus parking lots since the initial thefts as well as taking more time to survey security camera footage of the various lots around campus.. “We’ve done more frequent patrols through the lots, especially those lots that are well away, that you’re not walking through all the time. We do as much as we can,” said Police Chief Ron Fox.

Campus Police are urging vehicle owners to stay vigilant and for members of the campus community to report any suspicious activity. “Park in a well lit spot, frequent your car as often as you can and make sure it’s working fine,” said Fox. “If you see anything, if you come in late one night and you see something that just doesn’t seem right, don’t just assume that because it’s a safe campus that it’s not something bad and give us a call.”

For anyone who notices that their catalytic converter is missing, it is vital to inform the police as soon as possible. “It’s very important to report it as soon as you can and it’s very important to have a window of time for that. So when the last time you parked your car and you knew everything was fine versus the next time you saw the car and you knew the problem was happening,” said Fox, “We just have to narrow that time frame down and obviously the sooner you can tell us, the better it is.”

For more information reach out to the WLU Police Department by visiting the first floor of Shaw Hall or by calling (304) 336-8021.