We read about it in the newspapers, see it on television, and hear about it on the radio; criminals strike again. No one expects to be the victim of a property theft, until one day you realize something is missing. You search everywhere, thinking all the while you misplaced it, but after hours and hours of fruitless searching, you come to the inescapable conclusion, that you too, have now found yourself on the victim end of the criminal justice system.
By employing these preventative measures from the Campus Police, as well as being aware of your surroundings, you can avoid the experience of a heart breaking of losing loss of your property while on campus.
Never leave your things unattended.
Too many students leave their belongings unattended to go to the bathroom or step into the bookstore. Without eyes on your property, it is left vulnerable to would-be criminals. Always bring your belonging with you, and if you cannot, ensure it is safe with a trusted friend.
“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said GRCC Police Lt. Scott Merlo. “There are people out there who target students because they know they typically have the latest technology. If you turn your back just even a second, and leave your stuff unattended you increase the risk of having your stuff stolen.”
Know your surroundings.
Although GRCC’s campus is relatively safe, it’s vital to know your surroundings. For instance, being aware of what is going on around you can help prevent you or someone else from becoming a victim. If you are able to pick up on suspicious behavior, you will be more likely to avoid losing property or being caught off guard by someone with bad intentions.
“Personal safety is important,” Merlo said. “Know your surroundings, walk in groups, and in well lit areas, park in well lit areas,” Merlo said. “Keep your head and eyes up. Too many students on campus have their ear buds in, looking down at their iPods and not paying attention to what’s going on.”
Carry little to no major valuables.
Carry only the essentials that will get you through the day. Never carry large amounts of money or major credit cards. Keep your valuables at a minimum to ensure that if something is taken, it isn’t something extremely important.
When in a computer lab never leave technology unattended.
Flash drives, iPods, iPhones and headphones are just a few things that are commonly taken when your back is turned in the computer lab. Make sure to always bring your belongings with you, even if you are a short distance away.
There are ways to even prevent your vehicle from being broken into.
Keep your doors locked.
By keeping your vehicle doors locked, the opportunity that your possessions will be taken are lessened. A criminal will only spend so much time trying to break in, even if something is taken, you can be assured you took all the right precautions.
Keep processions out of sight.
By keeping valuables tucked away from people passing by, you limit having your car broken into. If there is nothing to catch someone’s eye, your car and belongs will be safe.
“Don’t leave purses in your car that are visible, along with other expensive things like sunglasses, Ipods, and GPS systems,” Merlo said. “If those are visible, chances are someone at one time is going to steal them. You can conceal those whether it is in your glove box, center console, or trunk.”
The Ford Fieldhouse has also been a targeted area when it comes to larcenies. Many students use this facility while leaving their belongings unattended. The Ford Fieldhouse is also open to the public, allowing anyone access to the gym or locker rooms. Safety precautions can also be taken here.
Listen to the faculty’s advice on prevention.
The staff and faculty in the Ford Fieldhouse have seen and heard about many larcenies that have taken place. They’re lecturing you to drive home the point that you can be a victim and your things can be taken. Heed their warning.
“We have all the instructors tell their classes don’t leave your stuff lying around the building unattended,” said Rick VanderVeen, Events Director at the Ford Fieldhouse.
The Ford Fieldhouse also recruits staff to frequently walk the floors to prevent theft.
“We have people on the floor moving around, but again, if you pick something up and I didn’t see that you were the one that put it there, I don’t know if that’s yours or not,” VanderVeen said.
When using a locker always lock it.
Much like your car, a criminal is not going to spend a large amount of time trying to break into your locker. Make sure you lock up your belongings before leaving the locker room. Students and the public may also rent a lock from the Ford Fieldhouse for $20 for the whole year. Once you return the lock, you’ll receive $10 back.
“75 to 80 percent of the locker room issues are from people that don’t lock their lockers or leave their stuff open while they go into the shower, thinking they’ll be back in a minute,” VanderVeen said.
Never leave your electronics charging.
Leaving your electronics unattended while you are not around is a recipe for disaster. Someone will take your item, and no one can stop them. If you must charge your item, stay with it.
“People leave their iPhones and laptops plugged into outlets along the wall and just go into class and think it’s going to be there when they get back,” VanderVeen said.
By following these simple steps, you can reduce your risk of being a victim. Protect your belongings and you can eliminate a wrongful opportunity.
“A lot of them (larcenies) are crimes of opportunity,” Merlo said. “Meaning the criminal is out, whether they’re looking for it or if they come across it, they’ll happen to steal it. You take that opportunity away, you prevent crime.”