Home News Expansion of metro partly to blame for increase in thefts

Expansion of metro partly to blame for increase in thefts

by The Concordian December 6, 2011
Incidences of theft on Concordia’s downtown campus have slightly increased from last year due in part to the expansion of Guy-Concordia Metro station into the university, according to interim director of security Jacques Lachance.
“I would say it was expected,” said Lachance, “because there was an increase in the number of tunnels.” He said thieves are able to flee quickly through these tunnels.
According to a security department report detailing thefts on campus between 2009 and 2011, obtained by The Concordian through an access to information request, 217 items were stolen from individuals so far this year, estimated to be valued at $90,105; 22 university-owned items valued at $29,695.93 were also stolen between Jan. 1 and Nov. 28, 2011. In 2010, 195 items were stolen from people and 20 from the university.
The LB building was the most visited by thieves, with more than a quarter of all reported incidents occurring there. University-owned property that was stolen this year included 13 computers ($15,000), laptops ($2,763.93), a DVCAM deck ($2,500), theatre masks ($2,200), an Apple iPad ($700) and a projector screen ($400). Floor tiles, printer paper, 18 dinner plates and toilet paper rolls were also stolen from Concordia.
The report only includes items that were reported as stolen to security. “It is not very frequent that [items are] recovered,” admitted Lachance.
University spokesperson Chris Mota encourages all staff and faculty to file a report with security if their personal belongings get stolen. “Some people feel that even if they report [items stolen], they will never find their materials, but by not reporting it makes Concordia a target. Thieves know they can steal here because there’s little follow-up.”
According to the university’s security policy, “when the theft or loss involves university property, the police will be called and informed of the incident.” The university cannot report students or faculty members’ stolen items to police because Concordia is not the owner of the stolen property.
“We can work with the police,” said Lachance. “We provide all the clues [and evidence we gathered]. We go to the camera system and look for the suspect and many times [the police] says, ‘Oh, we know these guys’” from another incident in the city. Lachance said less than 50 per cent of cases that security sees get reported to the police. “They visit pawn shops and everywhere where these materials can [end up]” and the likelihood of recovering the stolen items may increase.
“The full responsibility of not becoming a victim is students’,” maintained Concordia security investigator-preventionist Lyne Denis. “We’re just there to support them.”
Denis recommends students never leave their belongings unattended and always keep their valuables in sight. She also advises students to rethink whether they need to carry a laptop, smartphone and iPod on them, or if they just do out of habit. “If you don’t usually need it, leave it at home.”

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