Do you unwittingly give your phone and laptop legs, allowing them to run off when you’re not looking? That’s what can happen when students leave their valuables in plain sight when they walk away for a few minutes for coffee or a bathroom break.
“We want students to feel safe – we do have a safe campus here at IU Southeast. It’s true of all the campuses,” said IUPD-Southeast Chief Charles Edelen. “What happens is that people feel so safe, they set down their phone, laptop, bag – they set it down at the coffee shop and walk off. Nine out of 10 times it will be there when they return, but occasionally some people take advantage of them.”
- Locking doors to residence hall room, apartments and vehicles is important even during the day. This Bloomington Herald-Times article describes how Bloomington Police officers arrested two people in June who admitted going into unlocked apartments and helping themselves. When arrested, they had a “pile of laptops, speakers, alcohol and food.”
- Pack everything up and lock doors, even when you just want to take a brief break at the library or walk down the hall to talk with someone. It may be a hassle but nothing compared to the hassle caused by losing a computer or phone and all the material stored on it.
- Edelen and others at IUPD encourage students to record the make and serial numbers for any items they wouldn’t want to lose – and consider taking pictures of them, too. The information might help police recover the items.
- Make sure valuables are not left in vehicles or cannot be seen.
“I say, ‘Don’t give thieves the opportunity,’” Edelen said. “It’s usually electronics. Sometimes it’s textbooks -- textbooks can cost several hundred dollars. Get into the habit of keeping your valuable out of sight when you’re not around.”
IU Public Safety is part of Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, which falls under the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for IT and CIO.