Electronic thefts at Laurier Library rising

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Graphic by Joshua Awolade

Over the past three years, electronic thefts at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Library have been on a steady increase, with students’ laptops and personal belongings being stolen almost every month.

Corey Clarysse, a special constable with Laurier’s Special Constable Services, said they have seen nearly 30 thefts take place at the Library alone, not accounting for other thefts on campus.

“That includes everything from laptops, cell phones, wallets, purses; those are the main things,” said Clarysse.

According to Clarysse, SCS is unsure at this point whether Laurier students or non-Laurier students are to blame for the thefts.

“We’ve had a few incidences where it’s been non-Laurier students in the past, so anybody is capable of stealing from the Library,” said Clarysse.

“It’s not specifically Laurier students, it can be anybody who walks through the Library doors.”

Although some may think the majority of thefts happen during midterms and exams, a time where the most students are in the Library, Clarysse explained there is a steady increase of stolen electronics every month.

“Obviously there’s more volume during exam and midterm time at the Library,”

Clarysse explained, “But our statistics show that it’s just as possible during any month of the year to have something stolen and left unattended.”

Among the past three years of data, 2013 was the busiest for electronic thefts and 2014 was the second worst.

“2015 we had a few and the year’s not over yet, so I would say it’s on pace to matching 2013 and 2014,” Clarysse explained.

Clarysse noted that for students, the most important thing is to never leave valuable electronics unattended at the Library.

“Don’t leave anything out of your view, personalize your property even by adding stickers, covers and you can get your laptop engraved.”

Laptop locks are also available at the Laurier Bookstore for students, which according to Clarysse, could really help students keep their laptops safe.

Clarysse continued to say it is a good idea for students to go with friends to the Library where they can watch each other’s valuables if they need to leave for a moment.

“The people that you trust the most if they’re at the Library with you, have them look after your items when you go for a quick washroom break.”

To combat these thefts, SCS is also continuing to do proactive patrols through the Library at various hours throughout the week.

“It’s not like we’re going to come in everyday at seven o’clock, it’s going to be random, and we’re going to be keeping our eyes out for unattended objects as well and anything that might be suspicious,” Clarysse said.

SCS will now start to promote their services to students, especially first-years, which will give students information on electronic theft prevention tips.

“Special Constables is in the process of combating these thefts,” Clarysse said.

“We have a three-fold strategy moving forward and we’re going to start with a marketing campaign so primarily at information fairs on campus.”

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