Series of robberies and break-ins reported at student housing buildings in Waterloo

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Waterloo Regional Police are in the process of investigating various break-ins and robberies which occurred from Aug. 19 to Aug. 20 in various student housing buildings.

The specific student housing buildings have not been disclosed as of yet, however six rooms in total on both King Street North and Spruce Street were targeted.

Cherri Greeno, media relations coordinator for the Waterloo Regional Police Service, explained the details of the investigation in a recent interview.

“What we believe happened is that someone was either given access into the secure door or somehow found their way inside, once they were inside we believe they would try multiple doors and whatever doors were unlocked they would enter and [take] what they could,” Greeno said.

The kinds of items which were allegedly stolen range from luxury electronics to everyday household items.

“[Gaming consoles], identification, laptops and backpacks … really anything that they could get their hands on,” Greeno said.

“[WRPS is] really stressing the importance of locking your doors when you’re not home,” Greeno added.

There are various ways in which students can take precautions in their residences and own homes.

“The main thing is locking your windows and doors as well as keeping laptops and cell phones out of sight so people can’t see what kinds of items you have,” Greeno said.

“Sometimes people don’t think about this but when you buy an item and throw the box away at the curb that’s letting someone know that you have that expensive item,” she said. 

“To help track things down that are stolen it’s important to write down the serial number make model of the items you have.”

It’s important to take precautions to prevent robberies but also to take precautions when it comes to walking around in the general university area when you are alone.

“One-on-one person crimes and robberies are the crimes that we’ve been seeing on the rise recently, so were putting out these safety tips so that we can educate students so they can have a safe and enjoyable academic year,” Greeno said. 

Project Safe Semester is a program from the WRPS that promotes safety and well-being for university and college students in the area, which is operated in conjunction with Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo campus police, the WRPS, City of Waterloo by-law and Waterloo Fire Department. 

“We have officers designated to the student populated areas as well as resources in the area all year round especially back to school time like the door knocker campaign by talking to students and letting the know some tips they can take, that’s all part of our project safe semester.”

Social media is a tactic that the WRPS will be using to try and reach out to students as well as to share important messages about crime and safety.

“Anytime that we want to warn students about anything going on in their heavy student populated areas recent crime sprees we put it out on social media so that [students] are aware of it,” Greeno said.

Ultimately, students can take all possible precautions, but WRPS suggest that it’s important to call 911 if any person feels fearful of their safety.

“If you see something going on that is an obvious safety concern and if you are fearful for your safety or someone else’s safety this gives us the opportunity to make a quick arrest,” Greeno said.

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