Hit and run damages car at Hilltop apartment

Hilltop Apartments.  (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

A University of Connecticut senior’s car was damaged in a hit and run incident in a parking lot by Hilltop Apartments Saturday night.

“My roommate was dropping his girlfriend off when he saw my car (early Sunday morning),” Matthew Arellano, a senior pharmacy major, said. “He woke me up and we examined the damage.”

Arellano said his front bumper had been dislodged and left between his car and his roommate’s car.

“The right headlight was hanging on by a wire and there were deep gashes on the hood,” Arellano said. He also found parts of his grille and logo a few spaces down from where his car was parked.

“Due to the extent of the damage and the age of the car, the repairs will most likely be more expensive than the car itself, so I might have to total it,” Arellano said.

After giving a statement to the UConn Police Department, they told Arellano they would review security footage of the area and look for a car with damage that matched that done to Arellano’s car.

UCPD Deputy Chief Andrew Fournier said this is the ninth hit and run accident reported in the month of September.

“Investigations for these types of accidents involve standard approaches of criminal investigations (by) gathering physical evidence if present, interviewing witnesses (and) collecting supporting data from electronic sources as well as extensive investigative measures if warranted,” Fournier said.  

Arellano said he is not optimistic that security footage will be able to be used to find the perpetrator.

“From what I’ve been told, there are cameras somewhere going in and out of the complex, but nothing in the way of footage of the actual parking lots,” Arellano said.

UCPD is looking to expand its usage of cameras around campus, Fournier said.

“We are working with our university partners including the Department of Residential Life and the Parking Services Department to assess further camera needs,” Fournier said.

Arellano said he is frustrated that the incident happened while he was parked at UConn housing.

“It’s very frustrating,” Arellano said. “While UConn is in the middle of a fiscal crisis with budget cuts, you could think that they would have some form of system protecting basic property of students, especially given how strict parking is here.”

UCPD routinely patrols parking areas in hopes of preventing future crimes of this nature, Fournier said .

“(The) UConn Police Department routinely has officers monitoring parking areas and lots to curb, and hopefully stop, further crime,” Fournier said. “We also promote, through community outreach, the importance of being aware and reporting all suspicious activity to police.”

Since last semester, there have been numerous incidents of car parts being stolen from the parking lots by Hilltop Apartments and other areas around campus.

“One would think that after dealing with so many cases of vandalism last year, the administration would take more measures to ensure the safety of students’ property,” Arellano said.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.