Thefts cause trouble for residence halls

Recently, various items have gone missing from several residents’ rooms due to theft.

During the weekend of April 15, there were four reports made of break-ins on campus.

Expensive items such as PlayStations, shoes and sunglasses were taken.

Elliot Ginn, freshman physical education major, said after leaving to go to football practice and then to dinner, he returned to his room in East Hall to find his PlayStation missing. After Ginn complained to his roommate, Robert Cunningham, freshman undecided major, about what happened, Cunningham returned to the room to find he too had something stolen.

“I got my $125 Oakley glasses stolen,” Cunningham said. “I was pissed.”

Ginn said it was like a domino effect after the word got around that there was a break-in because soon others started finding out their items had got stolen also.

Fellow teammates Ricky Hughes, freshman marketing major, and Dennis Johnson, senior health promotions major, were also among the students whose rooms were broken into. Hughes said when he came to his room and unlocked his door, he discovered two pairs of his Nike tennis shoes and Johnson’s PlayStation 2 had disappeared.

“I felt powerless,” Hughes said.

While there are no suspects connected to the incidents, Ginn said when the weekend the incidents occurred, there was a vehicle spotted driving around campus with male subjects who did not appear to be students.

Grinn said at one point the subjects got out of the vehicle and went looking around. When confronted by a student as to who they were looking for, the subjects left.

Ken Kennedy, manager of the Department of Public Safety, said while thefts seemed to have increased on campus, students make it easier because of their own negligence.

“During the orientations, I tell all of the freshman coming in not to leave their things unlocked, not to bring valuables on campus and to never leave their keys with anyone else,” Kennedy said.

He said students fail to secure their belongings resulting in “thefts of opportunity” and noted there were no signs of forced entry in any of the rooms.

Students disagreed with Kennedy’s logic of why theft is increasing on campus.

All of the victims said their doors were locked at the time of the break-ins and locking doors does not always secure their items from being stolen.

Hughes said it is easy to get into the rooms with the swipe of a credit card.

The victims do not place the blame on campus security for the increase in theft, but would like the staff assistants to take more precautions as to who comes in and out of the buildings.

“The SA’s don’t know everybody,” Hughes said. “Some could easily say they got locked out of their room and then have an SA let them in.”Ginn said when he once lost his keys, he was not asked to show any form of identification.

The theft victims have tried coming up with different solutions to the problem.

“We duct-taped the rubber part of our door so no one can swipe a card to get in,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham also suggested keeping the main doors locked so only those with a key can get in while Ginn offered the suggestion of installing security cameras in the halls to keep track of those entering and exiting the building.

“Since they were so successful with stealing those PlayStations, they might come back and finish us off,” Ginn said.