Recent Series of Thefts Rattles Campus
Over the weekend, items were stolen from two apartments, marking a spike in campus crime.
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
Last weekend, two laptops went missing from a Taft Cottage and a laptop and cash disappeared from a Morgan Apartment, adding to a spree of recent suspected thefts on campus.
Ramelle Brown ’13 and Leah Jacques ’13, who live in the affected Taft Cottage, noticed their MacBook Pros were missing after returning to their room around 2:00 a.m. last Sunday morning. “Our door automatically locks when the door closes, but our door jamb is sticky and we didn’t make a conscious effort to pull the door closed behind us,” Brown said. They filed a report with both Campus Safety and the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.
Elizabeth Trout ’15 discovered that her MacBook Pro, its charger and some cash were missing from her Morgan Apartment early on Sunday morning. “We had left the door to our apartment open, assuming — in the trusting manner that many students at Kenyon adopt — that it wouldn’t be a problem,” she said.
“However, we experienced a rude awakening, and will from now on be locking our door.”
These incidents follow a string of recent thefts on campus, according to Director of Campus Safety Bob Hooper. “Obviously we’re very concerned about the amount of thefts that have been happening. This weekend was extremely disappointing,” he said. “We’ve been trying to work with students — because it isn’t just in the residence halls, it’s been at the KAC [Kenyon Athletic Center], Peirce Hall, some stuff in the Library.”
As of press time, Campus Safety said they do not have any leads on the thefts. “Especially on a weekend, people are going here, there and everywhere. So we’re still trying to talk to the students that were involved and get all the information they can give us, like if somebody looked out of place,” he said. “It’s really difficult just because of the amount of people. It could be another student.”
For Brown, the idea that many students have access to buildings on campus is disconcerting. “I don’t think any student who does not live in our building has the right to blindly open the door using a K-Card to anyone who asks,” she said. “The K-Card scanning measure is used for our own protection, so we need to make sure that we don’t take it for granted.”
The most common theft, according to Hooper, occurs when items — typically laptops, iPods and iPads — are left unattended or in an unlocked room. “If the room door is open and [someone sees] your iPad, it’s going to take less than 10 seconds to go in there and grab it and go down the hallway,” he said. “Nobody’s going to see anything.”
Though there have been several reported thefts this semester, Hooper said the number does not raise any red flags in Campus Safety. “We always seem to see a spike early in the year like this until people get over that this isn’t the utopia we all hope it will be,” he said.
For Trout, the Kenyon utopia is no more. “Kenyon is normally a safe place, but as my housemates and I have learned, thefts do happen, and the simplest way to prevent them is to lock your doors and be cautious about your personal belongings,” she said.
Hooper agreed, saying students should not leave valuables unattended in Peirce Hall, Olin Library, classrooms or KAC lockers. “Keep your stuff safe,” he said. “If we can get people to take responsibility and keep their stuff safe and secure, we won’t have that many thefts.”