Protecting Your Property
Most if not all thefts occur as a result of the thief seizing upon an opportunity conveniently provided by the victim. It's reasonable to conclude, therefore, that if we eliminate the opportunity, the incidents of theft or other crimes will likewise be reduced.
Thefts from Vehicles
The following suggestions may help prevent you from becoming a victim:
- Park in well-lighted areas and if possible, avoid parking next to vans, pick-ups and other large vehicles. Large vehicles can provide concealment for a thief, making it more difficult for a passerby to observe a thief's activity.
- Always check to see that your car is locked when you leave it. Avoid leaving books and items of value lying visible in the vehicle. Put them in the trunk instead.
Hang on to Your Book Bag
Unattended book bags and briefcases are frequently the targets of thefts.
- Keep your book bags with you at all times - even when using the copying machine at the library, going through a food line or using the bathroom.
- You should not keep your wallet or keys in your book bag. Losing these items to a thief could cause all sorts of problems.
- If you set a book bag on the floor next to you in a classroom or the library, put the book bag's strap around your leg or under the chair leg if possible.
Don't Give at the Office
Theft of unattended property (personal and college) from open or unsecured offices is one of the most common problems in a campus setting. From keys to computers, virtually anything can be stolen if you provide the opportunity. It is also known that many of these thefts occur during the day with office staff present. Here are some tips for securing your personal property while at the office.
- Purses and wallets are primary targets of the opportunistic thief. Purses and wallets should be secured in your locker, desk or filing cabinet when not in use. Never leave such items on your desk or in plain view.
- Avoid leaving wallets, keys or cash in unattended lab coats. Again, these items should be kept in locked desk or file cabinet.
- You should lock your office whenever it is unoccupied, even if you only leave for a few seconds to make copies or use the restroom
- Never leave your keys lying in plain view or left in the door lock.
Theft of Books
Books are among the items most frequently stolen at a college or university. To protect your books, the following recommendations are offered:
- Immediately after purchasing your books, take a few minutes to print your name and driver's license number on the inside front cover of the book in ink. Also print your driver's license number in 2-3 other locations in the book known only to you.
- Don't leave your books unattended, even for a minute.
- Particularly at the start of the semester, make sure you report a book theft immediately. This will heighten recovery efforts at book buy-back operations when the probability for recovery is greatest.
Bicycle Security Tips
- Park your bicycle in a highly visible, heavily traveled area on campus. If you are parking your bike at night, make sure the area is well lit.
- Lock your bicycle with a heavy case hardened lock and chain (talk with your hardware store for more information regarding lock hardware).
- When locking your bike, make sure to loop the chain through the front and back wheels and the frame. Attach your bike to an immovable object. Make sure the bike cannot be taken merely by lifting the chain or cable over the object.
- Engrave your bicycle in 3 or more difficult-to-find places on the bike and record the bike's serial and model numbers as well as the manufacturer's name, value and date of purchase.