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How to handle on-campus theft

What students should know about dealing with theft on campus

Any item that is left alone can be snatched away, as illustrated above.
Dennis Wahlman / Mainstream
Any item that is left alone can be snatched away, as illustrated above.

Oh no! You left your brand-new laptop on a table and turned your back for just a few minutes, and now it’s gone. What do you do? You report your loss to security.

To begin the process of recovering stolen property, students need to call security. They will then be asked to fill out an incident report, which can be found at most of the offices on campus, or a security officer will bring students one once they’ve reported the theft.

Students are also responsible for reporting their loss to the police.

UCC security and the police work together to attempt to restore stolen items to their rightful owner, and though the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA, limits the information that security can provide the police, notifying the police will help with tracking stolen items.

Once the theft has been reported, security can begin to investigate the loss using eye witnesses and security footage. Although no security cameras are installed in classrooms, they do monitor the library, campus center lobby and the parking lot. If the culprit is found, the police will be notified and will attempt to retrieve the item.

According to Steve Buchko, director of safety, security and custodial services, about eight thefts of $500 or more were reported in 2012, and the most common things stolen on campus are laptops and cell phones.

Most of these incidents happen because the item was left unattended or in an unlocked vehicle. The library, the campus center, the cafeteria and any other place where large groups gather require extra vigilance. Students should be extra careful of their cell phones and laptops since more identity theft occurs during the holidays.

Buchko advises students to treat the campus like any other public place and to lock their vehicles. “Be smart and protect your stuff; don’t leave things around” said Buchko.

To contact campus security, you can call their number, (542) 440-7777, or dial the extension 7777 from a campus phone.