How to prevent thefts on and off campus

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: PROVIDED BY FANSHAWE COLLEGE CAMPUS SECURITY SERVICES
A coat and a laptop left unattended at Fanshawe. To prevent crimes on campus, security asks you to keep your valuables safe.

It’s the middle of the second semester and students are getting more comfortable with the way things are going. However, this doesn’t mean we should let down our guards on campus. We have to be careful and make sure our valuables are safe. Campus Security is reporting it’s seen an uptick of items being left unattended, leading to an increase in thefts.

Mike Dukic, Special Constable at Fanshawe says one tip to prevent theft is “if you’re going to go to the washroom, ask one of your friends to keep an eye on your things.”

Dukic also provided more tips for students studying on campus. “Make sure that they shut the doors behind them, and then always reporting any suspicious people or behaviour that they see when they’re on campus,” he said.

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Dukic warned against getting too comfortable in campus surroundings, despite it being less busy.

“It seems like a great place, and you don’t think things like that happen? But it does. It may not happen to you, but it does happen here.”

If something were to get stolen from you on campus, Dukic says that you should report it as soon as possible.

“When things are reported to us, the sooner the better,” he said. “We will immediately go and start viewing video footage from the area to see if we can gain any suspect information. Maybe we end up getting the London Police Service to take a look at the image, and so do we get a warrant out for their arrest? Are they still there? Do we have the opportunity to go find them and retrieve the belonging? Did someone grab it by mistake?”

London Police also have issued out a warning to students. Student housing units that are left unoccupied because students are at home doing college or university programs online may be more susceptible to break-ins and theft. Police have said some precautions you can take to avoid this is to ensure your doors and windows are locked, and checking in periodically-you or a friend/neighbour

Lisa Johnson, another special constable at Fanshawe, also suggested that students avoid sharing their locations on social media.

“If they’re not home, or if they’re vacationing, even if they’re home alone, don’t advertise it on social media,” Johnson said.

When the world is allowed to have parties and when they do, Johnson also suggested only inviting people they know and trust. “Make sure that any of their doors, their locks on their windows are working and not broken. If they are, you should go to make sure they get fixed.”

Johnson also suggested leaving cars locked at all times too.

“When students are studying in the school, we try and remind them to keep their house and their car locked at all times because people do steal things out of cars as well as cars getting stolen.” Johnson said. “Not leaving your laptop unattended to go grab food from the cafeteria or go to the bathroom, laptops get swiped all the time here.” She also suggested registering your cell phone, your laptops with the Fanshawe Stay Safe App, as well as registering bicycles at the 529 Garage Bike Registry. This way it makes it easier for them to track your lost numbers.

Contacting campus security is as easy as calling 519-452-4242 for emergencies and 519-452-4400 for non emergencies. For additional ways to contact campus security and links to other campus supports for students, download the Fanshawe College Stay Safe App.