Deans are advising students to lock up their valuables as a result of an 8 percent increase this year in on-campus theft during school hours, head of security Jim Crawford said Thursday.
Although a visiting sports team was implicated in major theft earlier in the year, the more recent incidents have happened during the day.
Crawford has not identified any suspects, but says it is “more than likely somebody among us that we know.”
Stolen items include phones, headphones, computers, wallets, cash, catches, sunglasses, cameras and diamond earrings. The most typical is a stolen iPhone and money and the most recent theft, Feb. 18, involved money stolen from a wallet, Crawford said.
“Right now, they’re taking money right out of the wallet and just leaving the wallet on the ground,” Crawford said.
The school is adding cameras around campus as well as monitoring the ones already installed.
“The biggest thing we are doing is spreading the word for people to lock their stuff up,” Crawford said. “Are students being careless by leaving very expensive items in their backpacks and just dropping it on the ground? We’re trying to tell everybody that’s not the way to do it anymore. We just can’t in this environment [because] we have some thieves.”
Furthermore, the problem with cameras is that when students all leave their backpacks in the same area, it’s difficult to pinpoint who’s going into each backpack, Crawford said.
The school is also not replacing these “high dollar items,” Crawford said because they were not stolen from lockers.
“If your locker gets broken into, in the evening, somebody breaks your lock off and takes your stuff, the school is going to cover that,” Crawford said. “The school supplies everybody with lockers, so lock your stuff — at least your valuables.”