COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thieves are welcoming University of Maryland students back to campus, stealing their cars and tires, according to campus crime statistics and witnesses.
Nearly 10 incidents have been reported since July, during which there were including five motorized scooter thefts from on-campus lots.
Witnesses tell FOX 5 a campus lot near Ritchie Coliseum was targeted and several vehicles had tires stolen were left on blocks.
In one instance just off campus, thieves stole a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck on Aug. 27, the first day of classes, according to the truck's owner junior Kevin Money.
Money told FOX 5 police recovered the truck in Northeast D.C., but returned it to him badly damaged.
"It was shocking to see how ignorant they were to handling the truck properly or how reckless they were in general. It was just a stupid crime and the way they carried it out was dangerous in a million different ways," said Money.
A UMPD spokeswoman said there are police patrols of campus and the surrounding area at all times. The campus community is advised to keep doors locked and valuables out of sight.
Prince George's County Police pointed out that thefts from autos are down 6.6 percent countywide year to date and auto theft are down 11 percent.
It's unclear if any suspects have been identified or any arrests have been made.