Technology thefts seem to be ‘crimes of opportunity’

Campus has been hit with a rash of burglaries in the past week. Students received a CatAlert after at least eight laptops were stolen from Jeffords hall Sept. 3.

There were two other thefts: one at the Rowell building and the other at the Given Medical Building, Friday, Sept. 4, between 1 and 2 p.m.

Two laptops and a backpack, containing a wallet and an iPhone were taken from a classroom in Rowell.

Two students left their backpacks in the room while they worked in a nearby room for about  45 minutes.

At around the same time, a UVM medical student reported a backpack and blood pressure cuff taken from the student’s locker in Given. Pry marks were found on the locker.

There are no suspects for either of the incidents, UVM police Lt. Laurence Magnant said.

“These thefts appear to be crimes of opportunity, and the more you can eliminate that opportunity, the lower your probability is of being a victim,” Magnant said.

Leaving items unattended is a happens often, he said.

“I understand it may seem very convenient to leave something behind for a few minutes while you leave the room, but leaving items unattended is one of the most common mistakes students make,” Magnant said.

“Folks are very trusting especially within this age group and being in a school environment,” he said.

There’s about one burglary per day in Burlington, the majority of which occur in student neighborhoods, former Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling told the Cynic last year.

Despite the UVM CatAlerts sent out warning students of the burglaries, junior Kit Cummins is not too alarmed.

“I’m not concerned,” Cummins said. “It’s awful that those students have had their laptops stolen. To me it’s a good reminder to be careful about leaving my laptop out.”

More often than ever, college students are coming to school with the newest technology, particularly Apple products, which carry the highest value on the streets, Schirling told the Cynic last year.