Entering auto suspect charged

Cydney Long

An East Georgia State College student is in custody after Georgia Southern University Police arrested him Tuesday afternoon.

Daren VanAlstyne, Jr., 18, faces nine charges, five of which are entering auto.

“We’ve been having primarily unsecure vehicles and Jeeps, which is what he entered [Tuesday],” Chief Michael Russell, director of public safety, said.

He was carrying a gun and marijuana, according to the police report.

“The gun was stolen from an entering auto in the city,” Russell said. “He admitted to some entering autos in the city as well.”

University Police apprehended VanAlstyne after receiving a tip from a GSU student whose car had been broken into.

“We had a call yesterday a little after lunch that a young lady had thought someone had broken into her car,” Russell said.

The victim saw the suspect and gave University Police his description, Russell said.

University Police found VanAlstyne in the Information Technology parking lot with the victim’s property.

Vanalstyne did not admit to having an accomplice.

“We caught part of it on video, and he was by himself,” Russell said. “We don’t have any reason to believe that anyone else was involved.”

VanAlstyne was targeting unlocked vehicles.

“He would specifically go through lots looking for unlocked vehicles and vehicles that are hard to secure like Jeeps and convertibles,” Russell said.

Chief Russell and University Police urge students to lock their vehicles and take valuables with them.

Russell said, “Please, please, please lock your vehicle. Don’t leave anything of value in plain sight.”