Coronado Residents Fight for Safer Residential Community

Originally Posted on The University News via UWIRE

In the past two weeks, two separate carjackings at the Coronado Place and Towers parking garage have raised concerns about potentially inadequate safety measures. 


On Wednesday, Sept. 18, at approximately 9:30 p.m., two suspects held a resident at gunpoint, demanding the keys to his vehicle. The two suspects have been apprehended but the vehicle has not yet been found.


The second incident unfolded on Sunday, Sept. 22, at around 9:30 a.m., when three minors reportedly beat a female resident with a cane and stole her vehicle. Her car has since been returned and the three individuals have been arrested. 


In response, Coronado Place and Towers residents assembled in the building’s lobby on Monday, Sept. 23, to voice their concerns. The meeting was led by an apartment community manager, Chad Littlejohn. Coronado residents, as well as police officers from SLU and Harris-Stowe State University, were also in attendance. 


The meeting began by outlining several security improvements such as: upgraded security cameras, particularly in the parking garage, as well as deploying additional security guards for surveillance all around the premises.


Residents, however, grew frustrated with such measures and voiced their fears, arguing that a lack of communication is one issue that must be addressed immediately. “It’s frustrating because we hear a very small amount of what happened but it’s from SLU which technically isn’t affiliated with the apartment,” said Samantha Moore, a first year Coronado resident and senior at SLU. “Security in the garage seems minimal, I’ve noticed two cameras in the roof and it’s not very well lit. It’s scary,” she said. 


The meeting allowed residents to offer suggestions on what they felt needed improvements, as well as to demand Coronado staff do more to minimize such criminal activities in order to make sure that residents feel safe and informed. 


“I don’t feel comfortable going out alone which is really difficult as a college student,” said Juels White, who has been a Coronado resident for over a year. She also states that “as of today, my complaints haven’t even been answered.” 

Harris-Stowe police Chief Williams stated that, “What we experience here isn’t unique to us.” Williams also warned that “safety is everybody’s responsibility.” He emphasized the importance of transparency, communication and collective community actions for keeping the students safe.

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