Imagine it. You leave your laptop on the table in the Oakland Center while you purchase lunch in the Pioneer Food Court. When you return, the table is clear of all of your belongings and there’s no else around to hold accountable.
Since Oct. 5 2011, there have been 33 reported cases of larceny on the campus of Oakland University. Of those 30 instances, six of them happened last Tuesday on Jan. 10.
Cases of larceny on campus have been increasing lately, according to OU Police Department lieutenant Mel Gilroy.
Campus larceny on the rise
Last week, a laptop, two iPods and a purse were taken from two unlocked dorms in Hamlin Hall.
According to Gilroy, the suspects — whose photos appeared in surveillance videos — are two 17-year-old students from a local high school that were visiting a girlfriend in the dorms when they pulled the fire alarm and the crime occurred.
“We’ve identified one of the two suspects from the thefts,” Gilroy said. “The first one provided the first name of the other and claimed to not know the last name of the other person, which could very well be true. We’re going to make a trip down there and the local police department has their info, though.”
Other thefts that day occurred at the WXOU radio station in the basement of the Oakland Center.
According to Phil Berard, general manager at WXOU, two laptops were taken from his locked office while he was out of the room from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
One of the missing laptops was owned by a student volunteer, the other owned by the station. At the time of the crime, two students were broadcasting a show.
Though the staff at WXOU declined to make any statements regarding the details, Gilroy said that OUPD is pretty positive that they know the identity of the suspect.
Surveillance videos were also helpful in trying to identify suspects in that case as well, according to Gilroy.
Larceny can be avoided
OUPD classifies larceny as the theft of property or the attempted theft of property. It can be committed anywhere on campus, from breaking into vehicles or rooms to stealing from student areas.
Whatever the case, Gilroy suggests that students take extra precautions with their items.
“Always lock your doors,” he said. “Even when you’re sleeping. We’ve had people lose their stuff while they were sleeping because they left their dorm rooms unlocked before.”
To report missing items, call OUPD’s non-emergency line by dialing 3331 on campus phones or 248-370-3331 on a cell phone.
Nichole Seguin is the editor-in-chief of The Oakland Post. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @naseguin.