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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Thefts consistent throughout summer

Published: August 22, 2014
Section: News

The Aug. 10 media log released by the Brandeis University Police Department included three thefts, part of a grim pattern throughout this summer’s media logs, which have consistently featured at least one or two reports of larceny. Said thefts have been mostly of electronics, particularly items like laptops and iPads. Two of the three thefts in the Aug. 10 report were of electronics, including a laptop and a pair of headphones. Both items had been left in common areas or otherwise unattended, also fitting the general pattern of theft at the University.

During the 2013-2014 school year, The Hoot reported on several on-campus thefts in areas such as the Goldfarb Library, as well as the theft of two expensive cameras and related equipment from the Brandeis Media Coalition room. Also during that year, two MacBook Pro laptops were stolen from the locked Archon office.

Of the four total items in the Aug. 10 report, the last two take a turn for the mysterious. The final theft was of the door to a Bobcat Heavy Equipment Machine parked near the Epstein building. The door theft was reported by the machine’s operator when they returned to find it missing. Brandeis Campus Police compiled a report and reviewed CCTV footage that captured a suspect. Unfortunately, they were unable to identify the suspect, a problem previously encountered during a spate of car-part thefts last year. By a vast majority, cars that had parts stolen from them were all parked in areas that did not have optimal surveillance installed, something that many students expressed frustration with.

Head of Brandeis Public Safety Ed Callahan wrote in an email to The Hoot that Public Safety does “utilize CCTV technology when available on campus to assist any investigation,” but made no comment on the idea of possibly increasing the amount of CCTV on campus. At the moment, “We encourage all Community members to secure their belongings and do not leave electronic equipment unattended,” Callahan said. Public Safety also encourages Brandeis students to contact Detective Sergeant Dana Kelley about “any items which may be engraved for identification purposes if stolen.”

The final item on the Aug. 10 log, filed under “miscellaneous suspicious circumstances,” involved a possible clandestine intrusion into a Usdan office. The report officially stated:

“Staff member believes that someone may have entered her office through the exterior window and exited through the interior door. When she left her office the window was closed and her door was locked. DFM was called to the office to make area more secure. Nothing reported missing. University Police compile a report on the incident.”

While The Hoot was unable to find other information on the alleged incident, the possibility does possibly raise further concerns about campus security. It is still possible that the incident also could have been isolated (unlike the serial “Peeping Tom” in East Quad last semester). According to public safety, the aforementioned window has been fixed so that it can no longer be tampered with. Hopefully, with the beginning of the new school year, the pattern of thefts will lessen.