On the Beat: the secret life of campus crime


A question we receive quite often, usually from a wide-eyed parent at an orientation event, is some variation of “… so what really goes on here?” After we explain that we do not practice human sacrifice here at Case Western Reserve University, we try to get to what we think they are trying to ask, which is usually “what are the most common types of crimes and safety issues students are likely to encounter here?”

While they teach us in the police academy that any type of crime can occur anywhere, we can probably put being a victim of pirate attack or cattle rustling pretty far down on the list here at CWRU.

Topping the list in terms of number of reports received by the CWRU Police Department is the theft of unattended items, especially electronics such as laptops, phones, or tablets. The best way to prevent this is to keep an eye on your belongings, especially in common access areas like libraries or classroom buildings. Despite the fact that it may sound simple, it happens every year, and people always say, “I only left it for a minute…”

The second most common crime is bicycle theft. If you have a bike, get a U-lock and use it every time you park your bike. Cable locks are better than nothing, but not by much.

Third in crime is robbery, which occurs much less frequently than the items listed above, but is a more serious crime. Use services like shuttles and Safe Ride late at night. Guys, this means you too.

Let’s look out for each other and have a great year.

On the Beat welcomes questions, suggestions, gripes, groans, moans, and complaints about campus life at policecolumn@case.edu.