University News

Laptop theft on campus decreased over past seven years

Operation Identification provides free laptop and cell phone registration to students, staff members

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, February 19, 2015

The number of laptop thefts decreased from 54 to 12 from 2013 to 2014, said Paul Shanley, deputy chief of police for the Department of Public Safety. Laptop thefts hit a seven-year high of 92 in 2008 but have since seen a gradual decline, he said.

The downward trend may be related to the growing number of students registering their devices with Operation Identification, a nationally recognized program run on campus by DPS, Shanley said.

During registration, officers record the makes and serial numbers of students’ devices, Shanley said. The officers then place stickers on the devices that can be scanned in the event of recoveries and help return the laptops to their rightful owners.

“The sticker can go under case so you don’t see it,” said Quinn Bornstein ’18, who had her laptop and phone registered at the end of first semester.

Four hundred eighty-six students registered their laptops between the beginning of this academic year and December 2014 — the largest number of students to do so in three years, said Crime Prevention Officer Thomas Shelton.

“I don’t think it’s going to prevent anyone from stealing my things,” said Anne Prusky ’18, who registered her laptop and phone and attended an event during Property Registration Week, when DPS stationed registration tables on the Main Green, Pembroke and Keeney Quadrangle. “But hopefully if they get lost, they will find their way back to me more quickly.”

Students and staff will still have the opportunity to register their property this semester, as registration tables will be set up “at least once every couple of weeks” and announced in Morning Mail, Shanley said.


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