Before the start of fall break this week, Kansas University distributed an e-mail to all students offering safety tips while reminding students of an active serial rapist in the area.
Previous attacks have occurred during break periods since 2004 in both Lawrence and Manhattan. Because the attacker appears to become familiar with his victims’ routines through observation, KU encouraged anyone to report suspicious behavior to the Lawrence Police Department Investigations Division at 830-7430 or the Douglas County CrimeStoppers hot line at 843-TIPS.
Some other suggested safety practices included:
• Be especially cautious and observant when entering or leaving your home.
• Change your daily routine as much as possible.
• Install good-quality locks on doors, windows and sliding glass doors.
• Keep doors and windows locked, even when at home.
• Install and use peepholes.
• Do not leave keys hidden under mats, above the door or near the door.
• Do not attach anything to key rings that indicates your place of residence.
• Leave lights on or a radio on a timer to give the appearance that someone is home.
In a vehicle
• Keep doors locked at all times, even when you’re driving.
• Park in well-lighted areas.
• Check underneath and inside your car before getting in and lock your doors after you get in.
• Have your keys in your hands before you go toward your car.
On the streets
• Minimize distractions such as texting, listening to music and talking on a cell phone, as these activities compromise awareness of your surroundings.
• Walk in well-lighted areas and be aware of your surroundings.
• Walk with another person.
• Know where the emergency (blue) phones are on campus to call for immediate help.
• For a safe ride home (both on and off campus), call Safe Ride at 864-SAFE.
• If living on campus, do not leave your room unlocked, even if you are in it, or when you are nearby.