On the Beat: 9/13

So hopefully this is the time of year when people are starting to settle into their differing routines. You’ve figured out the last possible second you can wake up and still make to class in appropriate clothing, after extensive negotiation and mediation on all roommate disputes and vital issues such as music choices and window open or closed. You know where all your classes are so time spent wandering in circles has been greatly reduced, and so on.

Unfortunately we at CWRU Police Department have also settled into our fall routine of taking theft reports from students.  While we are not in the midst of a crime wave, some familiar patterns are starting to emerge, so here are some tips to avoid becoming part of the pattern.

The first tip is a combination of keep an eye on your stuff, followed by keep an eye on your stuff, or in other words don’t leave valuables unattended. Don’t take wallets/purses with credit cards or cash to athletic areas unless you have a place to secure them-leaving them off to the side is not a good idea.

Don’t leave cell phones or laptops unattended, especially in common areas like lounges, lobbies or eating spaces. Thieves love the anonymity of a crowd and those types of places are usually full of crowds. Don’t fall victim to the “I only left it for a minute…” syndrome as it usually takes substantially less than a minute to grab and make off with an unattended item.

Laptops, cell phones and tablets tend to be prime targets as they are easily resold, but thieves aren’t above taking a whole unattended backpack in the hopes that it contains something besides your moldy lunch.  And if it happens to contain your valuable research that you haven’t gotten around to backing up yet— oops!

Finally, when leaving your room or apartment, lock the door (and windows if you are on the ground floor) and always lock your bike up when your posterior is not on the seat. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure-or police reports.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko & Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. Send feedback to this or other columns at policecolumn@case.edu.