The Oracle

To catch the thief at large

Safety and Security and Hamline community work to catch a thief.

Kat McCullum, Reporter

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On Nov. 1, Safety and Security sent out an email updating the campus on an ongoing issue. The email sent out by Safety and Security read, “there have been several recent thefts of electronics from staff and faculty offices in various academic buildings.” It went on to ask Hamline community members to lock their doors, secure valuable items and report any suspicious activity.

“I mostly disregarded it, and did not worry about what it said,” first-year Lilly Warner said when asked about the email sent out by Safety and Security.

While it might seem to only apply to those on the Hamline campus, Safety and Security stressed the importance of the community effort when dealing with crime.

In incidents of theft, it is most helpful when all community members: students, faculty and staff remember to lock exterior, office and room doors, secure valuable items in locked cabinets, record serial numbers for devices and personal property, take pictures of items with serial numbers,” Director of Safety and Security Andrea Vicks said.

Though unable to reveal intimate details in order to avoid compromising the investigation, Vicks did explain Safety and Security was working with the St. Paul Police Department and the Hamline community in order to create a safe campus.

“I feel safe. I always see Safety and Security in the parking lots and walking around on campus,” Warner said.

Professor Suda Ishida, a Communications Studies professor at Hamline, said an iPad that belonged to the Communication Studies Department was stolen from her office in Giddens Learning Center in the time span that the other thefts were committed.

I can not really tell the exact time/day when my iPad was taken. Since we did not receive any prior warning about a possible break-in, and none of my possessions had ever been stolen in my 15 years teaching at Hamline, I did not have any suspicion until I received the email alert from Safety and Security — the same day as everyone else,” Ishida said.

An email sent out by Safety and Security has advised the Hamline community to remember to secure any valuable items or to lock an office door when leaving, even if it is just for a moment. The majority of the thefts have been electronics from staff and faculty offices in various buildings.

“99% of the time my office’s door was locked. The thief would most likely have a key to access my office,” Ishida said.

Safety and Security is taking action to catch the thief, particularly if this rumor holds to be true. They are sure to utilize any and all resources that might give any insight into the situation.

“We are able to utilize cameras on campus as an investigative tool, but they can come with their own challenges. For example, pictures are not always clear or the area in question is just off screen,” Vicks said.

Vicks also made sure to stress the importance the entire Hamline community has in this instance, especially students who are likely to be near or around faculty offices.

“It is important to contact Safety and Security if you see someone on campus behaving in a way that concerns you,” Vicks said.


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To catch the thief at large