MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students at the University of Memphis are frustrated and fighting for answers after several car break-ins on campus.

The university confirmed that 36 vehicles have been hit since Saturday.

Imagine waking up to your car window shattered. That’s what University of Memphis student Tumi Awolowo found Tuesday morning.

“It pisses me off. I just bought the car a couple of weeks ago,” Awolowo said.

He said it happened at the Carpenter student housing parking lot off Central Avenue.

“It does surprise me a little bit. Because we do have a decent amount of security. It’s not like we don’t have any security at night, especially we have about four or five police officers always rolling through,” he said.

His car wasn’t the only one. We saw car after car with windows busted out and shattered glass in the seats.

Jayla Bryant’s Honda was also hit Monday night.

“I called police. And it was just like, I don’t know like I just felt like it was no rush. Like, I’m like, What am I supposed to do? If this is such a safe campus, why all our cars are broken into like, I was so confused by that,” Bryant said.

The University of Memphis claims it is one of the safest large campuses in the state.

“I just think something has to change. Like it’s not. We’re not considered safe campus if every week somebody’s car is broken into,” Bryant said.

WREG reached out to the U of M for answers since last month the school publicized it has heightened security on campus with more officers, better lighting, and increased cameras.

They sent a statement that says 36 vehicles have been broken into or “hit” around the campus since Saturday.

  • 7 cars broken into near the Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center
  • 18 vehicles “hit” outside the Carpenter Complex
  • 7 vehicles broken into in front of the Zach Curlin parking garage and the South Curlin parking lot
  • 1 vehicle broken into outside the Community Health Building on Park Avenue
  • 3 vehicles broken into on Walker Avenue

The school said they are crimes of opportunity and convenience that are done in “the cloak of night”, and they are working with Memphis Police to identify the suspects and have reached out to the victims to offer support.

The University of Memphis also said the suspects resort to vandalism when they can’t steal vehicles. They are taking car parts and items left inside.

But some students told us they have called the Dean and requested a meeting. For these students, the break-ins are more than an inconvenience. It’s also a cost.

“So getting the window replaced and re-tinted, it’s kind of hard, you know? It’s money that I don’t really want to spend,” Awolowo said.

“I expect a lot more because it’s like we pay so much money. It’s like where’s our money going,” Bryant said.