Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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On the Beat

As we get deeper into the school year, we have unfortunately started to see an uptick in theft reports. Most of us have seen some variation of the police crime map on television or film, usually shown as a bunch of serious looking men in uniforms punching colored pins into a map and staring intently at it. As a television tip, if you want to get a taste of what police work is actually like, watch “Cops.” Do not watch “CSI” or its endless spinoffs.

While we do not have anything exactly like that here at Case Western Reserve University, there are some patterns that can be detected and some tips we can pass along to the campus community to help keep everyone’s property safe.

The first tip is a combination of “lock up your stuff” and “do not leave valuables unattended.” This is a simple guideline, but one that is often ignored, which can lead to you standing in front of a police officer stating, “I only left it for a minute…”

Many thieves are lazy. They would much prefer to enter an unlocked door or snatch an unattended backpack or laptop than try and smash a window or grab a laptop from someone’s hands. The risk of getting caught go up in both cases. Do not make it easy for them.

Unlike robberies, where victims tend to be alone, usually after dark, many thefts occur in crowded areas with lots of people. Thieves like the anonymity of a crowd, which is why they often target public spaces where no one is sure who is or is not supposed to be there. Common areas, lounges, eating areas, or public access buildings like Thwing are always hotspots for theft. Athletic fields, where people put their stuff down to run, and athletic areas, where people might put stuff in unlocked lockers, are also possible targets.

One additional note about bikes is that all of the bike thefts reported to the CWRU Police Department since the start of school either involved unsecured bikes or bikes secured with cable locks, never ones secured with a U-lock. Draw your own conclusions.


CWRU Police Blotter 9/24/12 to 10/1/12

9/24 – Unattended laptop taken from study cubicle, petty theft, Kelvin Smith Library

9/24 – Unattended wallet taken, felony theft, Kelvin Smith Library

9/26 – Unattended backpack taken from common area, felony theft, NRV-2

9/28 – Apartment entered through unlocked back door, items taken, burglary theft, E. 116th St.

9/28 – Bike taken and cable lock cut, bicycle theft, Dental School

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