Theft on Campus has been an issue for as long as I can remember. There are always a few key reasons you find theft to be an issue here and I’m going to highlight them with the hopes of making you a bit more aware. The number one reason for theft is a victim’s inattentiveness to their personal belongings. There is a saying I have become familiar with over the years, “Gear left adrift, is a gift.” It’s a pretty clear saying, it means anything you leave unguarded, unsecured or out of your sight, becomes a gift to any person who may want it. The only thing I don’t like about that saying is it tends to absolve the thief from being responsible for stealing almost as if it condones the act itself. Theft tends to be a two part crime here at MCC and generally everywhere. One part the thief’s ambition and one part the naivety of the victim.
Unfortunately theft on campus can only be deterred and will probably never be eliminated. We can always dream right? One thing you can do that would help you to maintain possession of your personal belongings is to take away the opportunity of the thief. Is it really a good idea to leave your laptop alone in a busy area to use the restroom? You’re only going to be gone for ten minutes tops right? There are people everywhere right? Wrong. The only person that is probably looking at you and your laptop, cell phone, handheld gaming system etc., is the person that wants it. Everyone else is going to be very busy doing what they are doing. It will take the thief approximately 30-60 seconds to take your laptop and roughly 60 more seconds to completely disappear with it. Take it with you and you get to keep it, otherwise you are at the mercy of the camera system and any person nearby that, realistically, will not notice a theft taking place.
Finally, you can take advantage of a program that Public Safety has to aide you in recovering stolen items. We provide an engraving service that you can utilize to mark your most valuable possessions in secret spots known only to you. You can use these to identify your stolen things if they are recovered. Knowing the serial numbers of your technological devices is another helpful way to identify your stolen goods. Sadly, when your things DO end up stolen, this is the best way to get them back (just shy of the thief returning them to you with an apology.) Additionally, any leg work you can provide in searching for your own stolen items will only serve to better aide in its recovery. GPS apps or stolen device apps that can snap photos of the person attempting to use your things are some ideas to consider.
Ultimately the safety of your personal belongings is YOUR responsibility. YOUR attentiveness and YOUR vigilance is going to be why YOUR things remain YOURS. Once you’ve managed to master the art of keeping track of your possessions you can certainly move on to reporting when you see a theft occur. After all, next time, it could be your things being taken and I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t want someone saying, “it’s not my stuff and not my problem.”
The Civility Project: Making Courtesy Common