CrimeNews

Library theft reminds students to be careful with posessions



When entering the first floor of the Knight Library, students might notice a sign standing in the front foyer mentioning something about stolen backpacks — six backpacks stolen in the past week, to be exact. As the new school year begins, theft is once again on the rise.

From Sept. 27 to Oct. 13, nine thefts occurred that included stolen wallets, MP3 players, textbooks and bags; between Oct. 6 and 13, four laptops were taken. Ron [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&s=Ron+Renchler@@, the director of library communications, has seen this pattern many times before.

“It’s students leaving their backpack unattended,” Renchler said. “There’s no place on campus where it’s 100 percent safe to just leave things.”@@Why doesn’t the library put this info/caution sign at the beginning of the term instead of once stuff is stolen – especially if this happens every year.@@

The Department of Public Safety is called in whenever a theft occurs, and Det. Lee [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&s=Lee+Thoming@@ is familiar with this beginning-of-the-year pattern.

“All of a sudden, you get freshmen and transfer students new to the college who don’t get how big of a problem theft is,” Thoming said.

Both Renchler and Thoming encourage students to always keep their belongings with them for protection.

“We’re looking out for student interests,” Renchler said. “We are certainly sympathetic of students.”

Students that leave their stuff alone for only a few moments are still at risk, according to Thoming.

“People will get up and walk away, and within a minute or two, their stuff is gone,” Thoming said.

Junior Sarah [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Sarah+Busse@@ not only has a class in the library, but also has been studying there for several years. After witnessing some students leave their property unattended for half an hour or longer, she doesn’t doubt the careless attitude that many students [email protected]@I think it’s more ignorance@@

“I’ve seen people leave their stuff behind, especially spread out across desks,” Busse said.

Her rule is a little more lenient than what the library staff recommends.

“As long as I can see it, I’m OK. But I always have to keep my wallet with me,” Busse said. “In a busy area, I feel a little bit better.”

Still, on a campus with as many students as the University, it’s hard for her to be too trusting.

“There are so many students; I’m not going to be able to trust them all,” Busse said. “If I’m extra paranoid, I’ll ask someone next to me to watch my stuff.”

Busse points out that, especially toward the beginning of the year, people are used to the comfortable and safe summer setting.

“I know for me, I know when I’m home, I’m in a much more trusting setting,” Busse said. “I don’t always think about where my stuff is.”

Thoming suggests registering laptops with DPS so that in the event of it being stolen, there is a better chance you will get it back.

“Students need to be aware of their surroundings,” Thoming said. “If you see someone suspicious, report it.”

And if you see something in progress, Thoming believes there is something you can do to help.

“If you see someone taking something, take a picture,” Thoming said. “Most students have picture phones now, and in that case a picture would be more than worth its weight in gold.”


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