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Laptop theft peaks in late January, early February

At beginning of semester, laptops taken from dorm rooms, common areas, off-campus homes

The beginning of the semester saw a spike in laptop theft, with more laptops stolen on and around campus during the first three weeks than in that time frame for the past five years.

Between Jan. 24 and Feb. 9, 10 MacBook laptops were stolen from campus dormitories and one off-campus student residence, according to the Department of Public Safety’s Weekly Crime and Incident Summaries. The value of the stolen goods totaled $17,880, including laptops and other objects taken at the same time, according to the crime logs.

DPS had not seen such a concentration of theft since 13 laptops were stolen in September 2013. In 2013, DPS logged 54 cases of laptop theft. In 2014, DPS began a campaign urging students to lock their doors; that year students reported 12 cases of laptop theft. Laptop theft cases have remained in the single digits each year since.

The first laptop theft this semester occurred on Jan. 24 when a student left his computer in Andrews Hall and returned four hours later to find the device gone, according to the crime logs. Another two thefts occurred Jan. 28 and Jan. 31.

Over the weekend between Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, students reported five stolen MacBooks. In four out of the five cases, the student reported that someone had entered their dorm room and taken the computer.

The first theft over that weekend occurred in Vartan Gregorian Quad A, when a student reported around 7 p.m. that someone had entered her dorm room and taken her backpack containing a MacBook laptop, iPhone, calculator and two sets of earphones.

The next day, Feb. 2, Aaron Cho ’21, who lives in Sears House, reported around 9:30 p.m. that someone had entered his dorm room, taking his backpack and MacBook laptop as well as his roommate’s MacBook laptop.

On Feb. 3, between 5 and 6 p.m., two students reported their MacBook laptops were taken from their unlocked dorm rooms in Harkness House. One of the students, Caleigh Aviv ’21, said her laptop was stolen from her zipped backpack, while her roommate’s laptop, which had been under her blankets, was not taken. Aviv said that as soon as she found her laptop missing, she checked the Find My iPhone app to track her laptop’s location, but her computer was already offline. Another laptop theft was also reported earlier that day in Miller Hall.

No similar thefts were reported until the early hours of Feb. 9, when two students living off-campus called DPS to say someone had entered their house and had stolen two MacBook laptops from their bedrooms.

Since Feb. 9, DPS Weekly Crime and Incident Summaries show one laptop reported stolen from a student’s off-campus apartment March 3.


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