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University News

Laptop thefts ‘spike’ over Fall Weekend

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, October 26, 2009

Nine laptops were stolen from eight different residence halls over Fall Weekend — an unusually high number — according to Mark Porter, director of public safety.

“No question, this was a spike for weekend activity,” Porter said. Long weekends tend to bring “a lot of activity on campus” with many students hosting guests from outside the University, he said.

Porter said there is no indication that the thefts were connected.

“The one common theme,” Porter said, is that all of the laptops were taken from unlocked rooms. “That’s why we’re always urging students to lock their doors.”

The Department of Public Safety had originally sent out a campus-wide notification the Friday following Fall Weekend, indicating that an unspecified number of laptops had been stolen from only six different residence halls.

Emily Doyle ’13, a victim of the recent spike in laptop thefts, said she returned to her room after a night out to find her laptop missing. Her roommate had returned earlier in the night and gone to sleep without locking the door. Both Doyle’s roommate and other residents on her hall reported that one or more males had entered their rooms that night but left immediately after opening the door, she said.

DPS arrived at Doyle’s room after she reported the theft and told her that reports of theft were rare in her dormitory, North Wayland, Doyle said. She told the officers she had bought antitheft software but it had not been installed on the laptop at the time it was stolen.

“There’s no way that you’re going get it back,” Doyle recalled being told by one of the officers.

DPS is continuing to investigate the thefts, but such cases are rarely solved, Porter said. “Over the last two years we’ve probably recovered five laptops,” he said.

Porter recommended that students have their laptops engraved — making them physically identifiable — and purchase antitheft tracking software.

In its community notification e-mail, DPS counseled students to report suspicious individuals and to always lock their doors before going to bed.

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