WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News heard from concerned parents and school officials Friday night, after more cars were broken into at Westfield State University.

Friday morning, university police reported that a group of people were seen vandalizing and trying to get into cars in the South Lot. An officer patrolling the area interrupted the activity, and the suspects ran away.

According to police, nearly 30 cars have been vandalized and 5 cars stolen in recent months.
22News spoke with a parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, and told us she is worried about her child’s safety, after hearing about the number of incidents.

“He comes home late from work, parking in that lot late at night, so my worry is what happens if one if he gets injured right if someone is trying to break into a car or they hurt him in some way trying to take his car,” she said. “I’m actually bringing his car back this weekend because I’m terrified.”

Westfield State University spokesperson Leslie Rice says the university is very concerned about the vandalism and thefts that have been happening lately in the South Lot. In a statement to 22News, Rice said in part, “We want everyone to know that student safety is our top priority and we are assessing and addressing issues of safety at Westfield State University.”

She continues to state, “We continue to work with Westfield Police and other agencies including the Massachusetts State Police to identify the individuals involved in these incidents taking place throughout the state. We are coordinating with these local and state police agencies, and their network of surveillance cameras, to identify suspects and prosecute offenders.”

The university has extended shuttle hours and is adding more lighting to the South Lot. Police are also using new lights on patrol cars so that they are easier to see at night.

Officials ask that if you see anything suspicious to call the university police at 413-572-5262.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on X @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.