T-Sgt. Nate Leonard, Columnist
By this point in the school year you have probably realized that larceny is a frequent crime on campus. If you have not been the victim of a larceny, you most likely know of someone who has been. This week I would like to offer some tips that may be of assistance to you to prevent you from being the victim of a larceny, or to aid the Police in the retrieval of your items if you have belongings stolen.
Petit Larceny, essentially stealing property from another person, is a Class A misdemeanor in New York State. If the stolen property is valued at more than $1000, it becomes a felony. Keep in mind that a stolen credit or debit card automatically constitutes a felony.
The first, and best, piece of advice I can give you is to trust no one in regards to leaving valuables around unsecured in your room. When items go missing, many times it is discovered that a roommate saw it lying around and thought they could take it without getting caught. Whenever you leave your room, lock your door! There have been many cases where people leave their doors open or unlocked for a brief time and return to their room to find they are missing valuables. People will sometimes walk the halls and check doors to see if they are unlocked or if they see an open door with valuables in plain sight. When there is, they can quickly sneak in and grab the items and walk out within a minute. Consider that it takes at least a couple of minutes for most people to use the bathroom. Be aware of someone walking into your room and saying “oops wrong room.”
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you may still find items have been taken from you. If you take a few precautionary measures you can make the retrieval of those items easier. If you bring valuables to campus, such as laptops, TVs, video game consoles etc., make sure you have recorded the serial numbers. If the Police find the stolen item, this may be the only way to identify it as yours. Cellphones are a big target for thefts as well. If you own an iPhone I would suggest looking into getting the free app called “Find my iPhone.” We have retrieved several iPhones because the owner had this app installed. As we near the end of the semester, we deal with a large number of stolen textbook cases. People will look to steal these and sell them quickly to bookstores to make some easy money. I would suggest putting an identifying mark in every book you own. This may be initialing the corner of page 100 in each book, or something similar to that. If the book turns up at the bookstore it can easily be identified as yours because you know where the identifying mark is.