In just two weeks, four laptop computers were stolen from students’ rooms on campus, leading to one arrest and an ongoing investigation by university police to find a second culprit.
On Sept. 13, two residents of Smith Hall reported that their laptop computers had been stolen from their room. According to UPD Chief Dennis Culak, the first victim to discover the missing laptops noticed the door to the room was open even though it had been locked when the resident left.
Following an investigation, university police arrested a suitemate of the victims on charges of burglary, a second-degree felony. One of the computers was recovered, and police are still hopeful in finding the other.
“We’ve always had a problem with roommates and suitemates stealing. It’s not unusual here or on any college campus,” Culak said.
Two weeks later, another pair of students reported that their laptops had been stolen from their rooms in King Hall. Police currently have no suspects in the investigation.
“The investigating officer is clearing up another case right now and will begin the investigation as soon as that is done,” Culak said.
With so many students making large financial investments in technology, Culak stressed the importance of keeping those investments secure.
“If you live in a room with an adjoining suite or bathroom, you must make sure your room is properly secure,” Culak said. “With the new residence halls it’s not as prevalent because each student has their own bedroom they can lock. But in the older traditional halls it’s still more of an issue.”
Culak also warned that the fast-approaching month of October is considered to be very active from a criminal activity standpoint.
“Students with adjoining rooms and bathrooms may be reluctant to lock the door,” Culak said. “Students want to trust folks, but if you care about your stuff you simply must make sure it is secure.”