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Theft reported in multiple campus locations

By Samantha Lauring

Section: News

February 5, 2016

A spate of recent thefts have occurred in multiple parts of campus, according to the Brandeis University Police Department logs. The various locations reported include the Usdan Student Center, Village A, Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), Gosman Sports Complex and the Goldfarb Library, and items stolen include laptops, wallets, currency and debit cards.

The thefts have inspired an increased sense of caution among members of the Brandeis Community; Jay MacDuffie, area coordinator for the Massell and Rosenthal Quads, sent an email to his residents informing them to be aware of their property and to make sure they are locking their doors for security purposes. “Being diligent about locking your door is the best way to secure your room,” wrote MacDuffie.

North Quad Area Coordinator Habiba Braimah also warned her residents, writing in an email to “keep a watchful eye,” when dealing with theft and security. “Do not allow tailgating at the entrances of the building. Brandeis is known for kindness, but we all need to be aware of whom we are letting into the building,” said Braimah.

The thefts have also elicited surprise responses among students, many of whom say they believe campus should be a safe place and feel comfortable leaving their belongings in public places.

“I trust students so I feel comfortable leaving my stuff in the library, even if I’m not there,” said Gaby Sierra ’19.

“I might have a false idea that campus is secure because I leave my stuff around, but I am surprised when thefts happen,” said Susannah Miller ’19.

“I leave my stuff around and it doesn’t get stolen, but now I will be more careful about leaving my things around campus,” said Saumya Datta ’19.

“University administrators seems to be actively responding to security concerns,” said Class of 2019 Senator Nathan Greets, noting the administration’s recent attempts to restrict off-campus residents’ access to campus buildings and residence halls. Still, Gress advised caution. “In the pursuit of a safe and secure campus, the administration must be wary of dividing the community with targeted measures such as off-campus restrictions,” Greess said. Greess also spoke of plans to work alongside the Student Union to monitor this issue closely.

“These thefts are largely crimes of opportunity, in which a person sees something in the open, no one near it, and they choose to take it,” said Brandeis University Chief of Police Edward M. Callahan. According to Callahan, most thefts would not occur if students monitored their belongings and did not leave them unattended, even for short intervals of time. Callahan advised students to ask friends to watch their property if they are leaving their belongings for short amounts of time. “We can all work together to reduce the chance of theft,” said Callahan.

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