Catalytic converter crook

Jeremy Troetti

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Julia Mee” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]When senior 3+1 finance major Julia Mee pulled her 2002 Honda Accord into her driveway on Saturday, Sept. 23, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. She did not use her car the next day, opting to carpool with friends instead. However, it was on Monday morning that Mee received an unexpected – and unwanted – surprise.

“When I went to go to class on Monday morning, I turned the key in the ignition and (my car) sounded like a tractor,” Mee said.

She lives in one of the Quinnipiac-owned off-campus properties. Her house is on Woodruff Street, but the driveway is on New Road.

Mee came back from a friend’s house on Saturday and parked her car in her driveway. When she went to drive her car on Monday, she heard the abnormal sound and instantly knew something was wrong.

“I freaked out. I called my parents,” Mee said. “I ended up driving it to a mechanic and he called us later that day and he was like, ‘You’re not going to believe what happened,’ and he sent us pictures (of the damage).’”

The exhaust system was missing from the bottom of Mee’s vehicle. Someone had come in her driveway, unbeknowst to her and removed the exhaust system with a saw.

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Julia Mee” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]While she was still able to drive the car, Mee explained that the sound of the vehicle was significantly altered by the damage.

“There’s just a giant hole under my car,” she explained. “I was able to drive it – it didn’t affect me driving the car, but (the damage) essentially turned it into a racecar. It sounded really loud.”

Mee said that the mechanic described to her how people steal the parts off of the vehicles in hope of reselling them. The mechanic estimated the parts stolen off Mee’s car would sell for roughly $800. However, that $800 doesn’t nearly match what Mee has to pay to buy the parts new in order to fix her car.

“(The parts cost) $2,000 to replace,” Mee said. “I got the car and I came back on Tuesday, and I went right to Public Safety, and I filed a report with Hamden Police. (Public Safety and Hamden Police) kind of said there was nothing they could do about it. They weren’t very helpful at all, which I was kind of annoyed about.”

Mee believes that because she technically lives on a school-owned property, the school should be assisting her in paying for the damages.

“Yes, it’s off campus, but the property is owned by Quinnipiac, so personally, I think (the school) should be responsible,” Mee said.

Sophomore political science major Olivia Weardon also feels that the job Public Safety is doing is not adequate.

“I don’t really think that Public Safety does their job when it comes to that,” Weardon said. “Especially in (surveilling) Hogan, where a lot of people have problems. (Public Safety is) supposed to be there all the time, especially at night. Obviously, problems are going to happen if Public Safety is not there.”

Weardon said that the recent events have her concerned about the safety of her own car.

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Julia Mee” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“I am concerned about my car,” she said. “It could happen anywhere, but it’s less likely if your car is parked on campus – in North Lot or Hilltop. I still think it’s something that should be addressed.”

Sophomore journalism major Cameron Silver explained that he also feels the lack of security is a big issue on campus.

Mee feels that the school, as well as the Hamden Police Department, should be doing more to protect off-campus houses in the area.

“I think (Public Safety or Hamden Police) should at least have patrols or something,” Mee said. “New Road is a pretty main road and I don’t have a big driveway, so the fact that someone was able to jack up my car, get in there and saw (the parts) out and leave and no one saw (was frustrating).”