A spate of recent thefts at the Campus Recreation Center has caused students and staff to become more vigilant and cautious than ever.
Four separate reports of thefts of personal items were reported to University Police from Sept. 21 through Sept. 30. Some of the items that were reported stolen include a pair of Beats headphones, a laptop and an individual’s bag.
“Just this past semester, we have had more than usual from the last years, since the building’s been open since 2012,” Durron Newman, assistant director for student employment and marketing at the center, said. “This is the most in a short amount of time. So, it’s very surprising to see that.”
There have been nine larcenies in the Campus Recreation Center overall since August, Eric Olsen, the assistant chief of patrol at University Police, said. Two individuals have been arrested in connection to these larcenies.
“One individual was arrested and charged with four of the larcenies and a second individual was arrested and charged with one larceny,” Olsen said in an email. “Regarding recent thefts, we expect thefts to stop as a result of the arrest.”
Once a suspect is arrested, the individual is banned from the Campus Recreation Center until further notice as per the center’s policy, Newman said.
“That person is banned from the Campus Recreation Center and then they go through the judicial process and standards that the University has from there,” Newman said. “We definitely have zero tolerance on theft.”
After University Police arrests a suspect, they are transferred to the Suffolk County Police Department, Olsen said.
The Campus Recreation Center staff is constantly reminding people — through announcements on the radio or posters on lockers— to secure their personal belongings, Newman said.
“Recently, the staff on the second floor, they walk around and remind people to take all their things other than bottle into locker,” Xiaolin Yang, a materials science and engineering graduate student, who goes to the center daily, said. “Since this week, I noticed this change.”
While some students don’t always lock up their belongings, others make it a point to secure any valuables items.
“When I first came, I didn’t lock my stuff but I only had a little bag with a sweater, ” Emmaly Gutierrez, a freshman biology major said. “Now, I do because I have my laptop in it.”
Kat Espinoza, a junior biology major, said she typically does not lock up her belongings but has decided to take more caution as a result of the thefts.
“I definitely feel safer, that they did get the guy or girl who was doing this,” Espinoza said. “But, I don’t know, I feel more cautious about it to maybe locking my stuff now.”