December 1, 2020

Sgt. Kunkle speaks on Trinity lot break-ins

UPDATED 10:05 A.M. ET ON NOV. 12: Two errors were made in the article. The article originally said “Chief Frank Hernandez,” but his actual name is “Frank Fernandez.” That was changed. The article originally stated that Kunkle was denied two officer requests. This is actually false. He was approved two new officers, so that was removed.

On the late evening of Friday, Nov. 6, 12 car windows were smashed in at the Trinity parking lot, resulting in around $7,765 in loss and damages.

According to a police report provided by Sgt. Scott Kunkle, the items stolen included $65 in cash, a Discover credit card, a driver’s license, and Venmo card. 

That same night, a vehicle was stolen outside of the Capital Commons, and Kunkle believes that these two events are connected.

“We do have a photo that I’m sharing with other law enforcement agencies,” Kunkle said. “Right now, though, we don’t have a solid [suspect] but we’re working on it.”

No object was found at the scene that could’ve been used to commit the crime.

Josie McAninch, senior political science and spanish double-major who is an RA for the Trinity Townhouses, spoke of the incident firsthand. 

“All vehicles with shattered windows were parked in a cluster on the east end of the parking lot,”  McAninch said. “It does not appear to me that individuals were targeted, as the vandal seemed to have just gone one by one, damaging cars down the row.”

The Trinity parking lot currently has no security cameras, but at one point, the school was attempting to install them. They ran into issues establishing a WiFi connection and running fiber optic cables needed to make the cameras work.

That area of work falls under Facilities management, and not solely the police department. Kunkle is hoping that the university can invest in installing more lights in the Trinity lot. 

“We’re looking at things now, trying to figure out what we can do to make it a little more lit up over there,” Kunkle said. “I think the safety committee is going to be discussing different ways that can make that lot a little more safer.”

The trend in occurrence is usually Friday and Saturday nights, so those are the times to especially stay aware. If students see any suspicious activity, Kunkle urges them to let public safety know immediately.

“A lot of times, I think students are afraid to call us for one reason or another,” Kunkle said. “Sometimes we’ll get called 40-45 minutes later, and by that point they’re [the suspect] is long gone.”

Students are advised to remove all expensive items from their cars and make sure to not have anything visible lying on their seats. 

Kunkle admitted that a crime of this magnitude has never happened on campus, but his faith in the community has not wavered.

“Capital students are always cooperative. The trouble we get is from the outside coming in,” Kunkle said.

For 17 years now, Kunkle has been serving on Capital’s police department. Currently, he is filling in Chief Frank Fernandez’s position while he is on sick leave. As of late, he admits that the department is stretched very thin, but there are some new members that have just joined the team.

One officer is Michel Stratton, which The Chimes recently wrote about.

Capital officers go through a month of training before they are officially able to take on their own duties. This lag time has created a heavier workload for the current officers, but Kunkle believes that this process is important. 

“I want professional people here,” Kunkle said. “I want professional officers at the school.”

  • Robert Cumberlander is the Editor-in-Chief of The Chimes and a junior at Capital University, majoring in Film and Media Production with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

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