In the weeks following the arrival of Ohio State’s new students, residents of Morrill Tower have been met with a string of burglaries.
The Ohio State Police Division has identified a trend of burglaries in the residence hall that took place between Aug. 15 and Aug. 30. A public safety notice reported thefts of cash and credit cards from unlocked and unattended residence hall rooms on Aug. 31.
“In general, the beginning of the school year leads to an uptick in overall crime,” Ohio State spokesman Dan Hedman said. “Some students may be living away from home for the first time.”
Ohio State’s police officers, campus security and residence assistants are working to do whatever is necessary to prevent crimes in residence halls.
“Our security officers perform a dedicated security patrol for the residence halls seven days a week from 8 p.m. [to] 4 a.m. that includes perimeter checks as well as a check-in with the front desk to determine if there are any issues,” Hedman said in a statement.
Residence hall directors and residence assistants are directly involved with students in attempts to keep halls safe.
Ohio State spokesman Dave Isaacs said residence hall directors and residence assistants have meetings with residents throughout the year to discuss safety.
“A major focus of what we do is to help students get in the habit of taking safety precautions,” Isaacs said. “Property crimes especially are frequently crimes of opportunity.”
In an effort to reduce thefts, resident assistants have begun closing doors to unattended rooms as well as hanging a tag on the inside of the door to remind students to lock their rooms when they are not home.
While OSUPD and residence hall staff do their part in protecting students on campus, it’s important for students to be responsible and take their own precautions. The Department of Public Safety reminds students to close and lock residence hall rooms when unattended. Additionally, they should not let anyone they do not know into residence halls.
The burglaries reportedly occurred at various times during the day and evening. No information has been released about a suspect.