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Campus prevents theft

Public Safety has implemented some security protocols, some of which are new as of this academic school year, as preventative measures against personal items being stolen on campus.

According to Niviece Robinson, Assistant Director of Public Safety, one of the new programs this school year helps to ensure that stolen items are returned to their owners.

'How to describe a suspect' info. (Bridget Stagnitto)

“A program that is available on campus is called ‘Operation Identification,’ and its goal is to deter thefts and burglary and aid in the recovery of stolen property,” Robinson said. “This is accomplished by engraving personal belongings and tracking important identifying information about such items. Marked property is difficult for a thief or burglar to dispose of or resell and can be traced to the rightful owner with relative ease. If a person is caught with marked property, it is solid evidence of possession of stolen goods.”

Students can go to Public Safety to have items engraved.

“The rule of thumb is to mark anything of value that a thief could easily cart away,” Robinson said, specifying items such as televisions, computers and cell phones.

Students are also being warned to not allow unknown people into the dorms.

“You can find posters in all of the residence halls warning against allowing an unknown person to ‘tail-gate’ you into the building,” said Angela Perry, Resident Director and Supervisor for the first-year communities, which include Warren Olney and Orchard Meadow Residence Halls.

Virginia Webb, Resident Director of Ethel Moore, Mary Morse and Ege Halls, explained that, while many members of the Mills community may feel that the College is a safe place, thefts do occur.

“I feel that, sometimes, the Mills campus ‘bubble’ can give students a false sense of security. Having a 24/7 guarded gate and a small community makes people feel that they can always know who is on campus and they don’t need to take security precautions that they normally would back at home,” Webb said. “When a theft or vandalism happens on this campus, students seem to be more in shock because this goes against what they feel is the Mills community ethos and the trust that they had in the Mills community.”

According to Public Safety, there has been a decrease in the number of thefts from
residence halls compared to this time last year.

“We’ve only had one theft from the dorms this semester,” said Michael Lopez, Director of Public Safety, via e-mail. “Over the years, we (Public Safety) have found that the most thefts occur in the freshwomen dorms, Warren Olney and Orchard Meadow, though there have been reported thefts in the past in all dorms. We seldom have a theft in the co-ed dorms though, and have had none (there) this semester.”

Public Safety stresses the importance of taking preventive measures – both in and around the residence halls — to ensure one’s belongings don’t get stolen.

“We constantly remind students to lock their doors when not in their rooms and that is working,” Lopez said.