Walking into the parking lot of the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel in Pomona from his room on the third floor, Brett Case, senior English major, searched for his car where he thought he’d parked it.
After searching the parking lot, he realized that his car had been stolen.
Case was one of 11 victims of auto thefts, burglaries and vandalism that took place on Nov. 23, nine affecting ULV students.
The only car stolen was Case’s, but the other vehicles suffered damages such as broken windows and were missing items ranging from vehicle stereo systems to laptops.
The Pomona Police Department was on the scene the morning of the burglaries and police reports were filed between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. by five officers.
Most of the cars that were broken into were in the parking area nearest to the east entrance to the hotel, near the pool, according to police and student reports.
It is believed that the break-ins happened early that morning despite the four to five Securitas U.S.A. security officers charged with patrolling the Sheraton parking lots throughout the night.
Sophomore psychology major Alex Barrios found the pieces of his car window on the floor when he was going drive his car to class.
He also found a police slip notifying him to call the Pomona Police Department. After calling, he was told they would send a deputy to take a police report, he said adding that no one came.
Among the things stolen from his car were his backpack, laptop, stereo and subwoofer, he said.
“I feel like someone gave them a tip that there are no cameras in that area of the parking lot,” Barrios said.
So far the Sheraton has not contacted all of its residents about the incident but Juan Regalado, director of housing, sent an e-mail to the students telling them that the hotel will be stepping up security.
The e-mail also warned students to not leave any valuables in their cars.
Since the Sheraton is a separate entity from ULV, Campus Safety is not involved.
Michael Nunez, director of campus safety and transportation, advises that students be careful with their belongings and what they leave in their car, as the holidays are a popular break-in time.
On Tuesday a similar incident happened again when a car parked near the front entrance had its window broken.
As for the stolen car, Case mentioned that there is a possibility of getting some reimbursement. He said an employee from the hotel referred him to a claims company.
Marilyn Mejia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.