The Commerce Journal

June 3, 2013

UPD predicts rise in juvenile crime on campus during summer months

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Three Commerce youths looking for fun are in for more than they bargained for.

On May 30 around 11 p.m., three juveniles broke in and trashed a bathroom inside the Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

According to Jason Bone, crime information officer for the University Police Department, the offense would have been a minor one, until one of the youths set toilet paper on fire.

“The kicker with that is they lit the toilet paper on fire, which makes it a felony of the third degree,” he said.

A&M-Commerce hasn’t received an estimate for the damages, but Bone said it should be fairly low.

Bone said he expects to see more cases like this, as the UPD usually sees an increase in juvenile crime on campus during the summer months.

“This place is like Six Flags for kids,” he said, adding that since the city pool closed down indefinitely, he thinks there will also be an increase in juveniles breaking in to use the pool at the Prairie Crossing apartments.

UPD implemented a policy to help avert juveniles breaking into campus property. Under the policy, juveniles under the age of 18 are not allowed to walk on campus property without parental supervision.

“If we catch them, we ban them from campus and the parents have to come before the [UPD] Chief of Police,” he said.

Bone said the university sees an entire population shift in students over the summer.

As most of the traditional students leave for the summer, Bone said they are replaced mostly by older students who already have careers and tend to be more responsible.

“We usually get school teachers taking courses,” he said. “We get less of the petty stuff with alcohol and drugs.”