Laptop thefts on the rise

  The UVM campus has experienced a wave of laptop and computer thefts.     Two iMac computers were stolen from the Student Government Association’s offices on Nov. 13, SGA Vice President Will Vitagliano said.   The theft happened at some point between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Nov. 11, Vitagliano said.   The SGA has the serial numbers of the computers and are in communication with the police, he said.   “It’s really unfortunate that people are stealing laptops and computers,” Vitagliano said.   About half a dozen laptops have been stolen directly from the library and more have been taken from other buildings including the Davis center, said Angus Robertson, access services supervisor at the Baily/Howe library. “We do believe that all of these laptops have been targeted by the same person or a group of persons,” Robertson said.   According to the UVM crime alert, the police are looking for a white male who was seen leaving the library wearing a black “hoodie” jacket shortly after the thefts.   The thefts have followed the same pattern, occurring mostly on the weekends, using similar methods in the same parts of the library, Robertson said. In particular, the back of upper floors of the library are targeted.   People who are leaving their stuff completely unattended are being victimized, he said.   To combat thefts the library is providing extra sweeps, passing out pamphlets and leaving signs on unattended backpacks and laptops, Robertson said.   “We are working very closely with the police,” he said.   Students should use common sense and not leave their laptops unconcealed while in the library, Robertson said.   “Certainly talk to the front desk if [you] have any questions concerning security and safety,” he said.   Students should trust their instincts if they see something, and report suspicious behavior to the police, Robertson said.   “Students should still feel safe in the library,” he said.   Eileen Rosenberg, a sophomore whose laptop was stolen from her backpack in the Davis Center says that the thefts have raised concerns in her in all regards.   “Honestly its been really hard, because I’ve been a little bit more paranoid in the sense of my belongings,” said Rosenberg.   Rosenberg said that the experience has made her more adamant about locking her dorm room door and caused her to shy away from going to the library.   “I go to the medical library more, there is a safer environment there because it has more open space,” Rosenberg said.