It is not uncommon for Gusties to leave their backpacks and laptops left unattended in the library during their study breaks or to leave their dorms unlocked while they run to the study lounge. The level of trust we place in our fellow students in order to feel at home on campus is something many of us take for granted.
According to the police report in the Sept. 18, 2008 edition of the St. Peter Herald, two reported thefts in two separate Gustavus dorm rooms are under investigation by the St. Peter Police. Sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, residents of two dorm rooms on the third floor of Pittman Hall reported items had been taken out of their rooms while they slept. Over $2,500 worth of possessions and cash was taken from both rooms, including a laptop, two textbooks, a digital camera and an X-Box system.
Theft is not a common occurrence on our campus. According to Safety and Security, there were only 11 non-forced burglaries in 2007. “Gustavus is safer than other schools, because the campus is really confined. However, I still hear of things happening here,” said Junior Spanish major Hannah Davidson.
Safety and Security officer Mike English believes Gustavus is a safe place, yet “it is important for us to remember that we get individuals from all over and with different backgrounds. They may not be hardened criminals; however, there may be thieves among us.”
Safety and Security hoopes students can all take the recent thefts as a reminder to lock our doors and learn from the past. , “I’m now more aware of what is kept in my room, and I make sure it’s locked when no one is in it!” said communications studies major Michelle Tanner.
In an e-mail to students following the thefts, Assistant Dean of Students Charlie Strey reminded everyone of a few simple efforts to improve dorm security:
- Lock your doors every time you leave your room, even if you are just going down the hall.
- Lock your door when you go to sleep at night.
- Do not leave backpacks or computers unattended.
- If you hear someone trying to open doors on your floor, contact Safety and Security immediately.
- If you believe you have had items stolen, do not hesitate to call Safety and Security or contact your Collegiate Fellow for help.
English also suggests identifying your personal valuable property (such as make, model and serial numbers of computers, iPods, etc.).
Next time you feel the urge to run to the study lounge in the dorm or leave your laptop in the library to run and get a cookie from the Market Place, take the extra minute and lock your door or pack up your bag and take it with you.