Increased safety concerns prompt more police patrol around library

Following rising safety concerns regarding a robbery and petty theft, campus police are increasing patrol around El Camino College’s Schauerman Library, officials said.

An attempted larceny was reported by a female student after a man grabbed her keys off a table on the second floor of El Camino College’s Schauerman Library on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The man, described as a 25-year-old, 6’1″, black male wearing a baseball hat, black pants and a beige hooded sweatshirt, ran away after the victim managed to grab her keys back, according to a campus advisory.

This comes a little over a month after another female student reported being held at gunpoint and forced to give up her cellphone near the Schauerman Library on Saturday, Jan. 25, at about 10 a.m.

El Camino College Police Department Sgt. Ruben Lopez said his officers and cadets are taken the appropriate measures to ensure the campus and its students remain safe.

“We do our best to walk them to buildings, we do our best to deter crime but it is still definitely a concern,” Lopez said.

Although the incidents were not related, Lopez said, all the ongoing construction on campus has caused some issues for his department.

“Sometimes lighting is low and visibility is low,” Lopez said.

As construction closes off part of campus due to the demolition of the old Student Services Center, Lopez said his department spends a lot of time planning routes as well as points of entrances and exits for any emergency.

Claudia Striepe, instruction librarian at Schauerman Library, said ECC is generally a safe campus, but crime can be expected as it is an open campus with a library on a busy street.

“It’s harder to monitor who comes on the campus,” Striepe said. “But like any public institution, we do expect a little bit of crime to go on [but] we really try [to] keep a safe atmosphere.”

Art major Elizabeth Arcia said she felt scared after finding out about the armed robbery at gunpoint that happened during winter session.

“That was crazy to find out about,” Arcia said. “You never see that happen at other colleges, much less [at] El Camino.”

Arcia said she has taken precaution by carrying pepper spray and a taser for when she has to stay late on campus.

“I like coming to the library a ton,” Arcia said. “But I do have to take care of myself now.”

Arcia said she feels the campus police have priorities elsewhere and should focus more on stopping larceny and robbery from happening at ECC.

“I’m not saying they should have surveillance everywhere,” Arcia said. “But checking in, once in a while in places like the library would help.”

-Features Editor Juan Miranda contributed to this article

Editor’s note: article was updated Tuesday, March 17, at 4 p.m.