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Repeated education building thefts

Natalie Chriss

Computers and other equipment were stolen from the Education department in a series of recent break-ins, most of them happening during the summer months.

From July to now, the education department has been broken into a total of eight times. The first break-in occurred when a window was left open and the thief climbed in. At that time, computers and other technology devices were stolen. In the following break-ins, more computers and microwaves were stolen in addition to a set of keys. Thieves continued to return to the education department, jimmying the doors instead of using the stolen keys.

After the initial break-ins, the members of the education department felt that it was unnecessary to drastically increase security measures. Instead, they focused on keeping windows closed and locked, moving expensive items away from the windows and locking all doors before leaving.

“Everybody was trying to be careful and make the department less attractive to thieves,” said Children’s School Director Suzanne DeLillo.

After the break-in in which the keys and computers were stolen, the education department, working on advice from Public Safety and the Oakland Police Department, decided to re-key all three buildings of the department. In the time it took to re-key the buildings, the department was broken into three more times, said DeLillo.

“At that point, there was prompt response from Public Safety. It was very clear that what needed to happen was that the building needed to be alarmed and re-keyed,” said DeLillo.

Since the final three break-ins, Public Safety has installed alarms in all three buildings and added an extra officer to patrol the department by foot at night. The alarm systems for the education department were installed last week.

“We have instituted procedures to put extra officers there and keep control of what’s going on,” said Director of Public Safety Dan Brown. “Our hope is that with the alarm system, we can move on and keep the equipment there.”

In accordance with the Oakland Police Department, Public Safety has turned in the serial numbers of the stolen items but have no leads as to who the thieves are. Campus facilities has replaced a number of the stolen computers and provided the education department with refurbished ones.