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University Police Chief details how to prevent on- and off-campus theft

Morrill Tower saw multiple thefts throughout the month of March. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

A couple of years ago, after an evening shift, Kwame Agyei went home to find his off-campus apartment a complete mess.

Agyei, a graduate student in educational studies, said his back door was left wide open, his kitchen chairs were flipped over and left haphazardly. Additionally, an emptied purse and its contents were strewn across the living room floor. One hour later, City of Gahanna police arrived.

Luckily, the burglars were unable to take much. Agyei said they took his Dell computer with a cracked screen, $5 sunglasses and $150 in cash.

Incidents like these are fairly common occurrences in the University District. In March alone, University Police have issued two Public Safety Notices warning Ohio State students about a prevalent threat to the community: burglaries.

“We want students to be educated about ways to be safe so they will not become victims, especially when they leave campus and rent a duplex or buy a house,” said University Police Chief Craig Stone.

University Police Chief Craig Stone greets a table of Undergraduate Student Government committee directors at the USG State of the University address on Jan. 16 at the Ohio Union. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Reports of incidents in which students have been victims of both attempted and successful break-ins ​have occurred at the Buckeye Village Family Housing Apartments located on Ohio State’s campus near Fred Taylor Drive and the Morrill Tower residence hall.

However, theft is more commonplace and happens much more frequently on and around campus. In March, there were more than 25 thefts that took place on Ohio State’s campus, five at Morrill Tower alone, according to the university’s online crime log. The thefts occurred at other residence halls, as well, including Lincoln Tower, Scott House and Bradley Hall.

By staying aware of what’s going on around them, students can prevent a lot of crime from happening to them, Stone said.

“In Morrill Tower, where we had a rash of burglaries … [University Police] found out that items were stolen from doors that were left open, unlocked,” he said, adding that the common room in the residence hall was also left unlocked.

Stone said even if students know their roommate is gone and will be back later, they should always lock the door. Additionally, he warned students about of leaving valuables unattended in the library, Ohio Union or any of the on-campus recreational facilities.

Although Stone said campus crime is low, many people that commit theft are repeat offenders and will look for any opportunity to take advantage of students. He said thefts are primarily concerned about selling the valuables they get their hands on even if the money exchanged isn’t based on the true worth of the item.

“You never know who is watching you or who has an intent and sees a chance of committing a criminal act,” Stone said.

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