Recently, there have been several reports of thefts on campus, including wallet thefts from unattended backpacks and one laptop theft.
Russell Greene, chief of the University of Dallas Police Department, said, “Thefts from unattended backpacks are UD’s biggest challenge.”
Currently, there are no suspects and UDPD is seeking everyone’s help to develop suspect information.
Aarrod Firouzbakht, junior economics major, said, “Why would people do that? If you see someone’s bag that’s not yours, obviously you should be taught from a young age that you shouldn’t steal. And if it’s not yours then don’t touch it.”
Leaving bags or backpacks unattended is a fairly common practice for a number of UD students, but hopefully these recent thefts will change that.
Cullen Craig, sophomore economics major, said, “When I first came to UD and saw bags everywhere, I thought, ‘I would never do this at my public school.’ And then I thought, ‘Whatever, it’s UD, nothing’s gonna happen.’ Now maybe I should go back to my old ways. I don’t want to lose my tablet or a credit card.”
Firouzbakht said, “As a person that [leaves things unattended], I’m just saying don’t do that anymore. That’s not a good idea because now you have these people that are going around stealing stuff from your bag.”
Given that some students keep valuable items in their bags or backpacks, it is important to be especially vigilant of one’s belongings.
Craig said, “Apparently, somebody’s going in the bags that aren’t being attended and stealing MacBooks, wallets, and stuff like that. Obviously, if it’s just a wallet you can cancel your cards, [which] is not hard, but you have to go through the process of canceling and getting a new one. If it’s a MacBook, that can cost around $1,000. I don’t want to lose my tablet or something.”
Students might think that their belongings are most safe during the day, but according to Greene, the thefts usually have occurred in the daytime when classes are in session.
Greene said, “Take your backpacks with you. Get the RAVE Guardian app so you can easily report suspicious people to UDPD.”
To help reduce the risk of theft, UDPD is instituting the use of a foot patrol officer on campus to look for suspicious persons and to make students aware of the risk of leaving their belongings unattended.
Greene said, “The ‘foot patrol off icer’ idea obviously predates an officer in a motor vehicle. At UD, it gives our officers a chance to interface with our students and staff and provide a police presence in the Mall area.”
Students are also encouraged to be on the lookout for any signs of suspicious behavior on campus and to report it to UDPD.
Greene said, “I suggest everyone call UDPD at 972-265- 5911 or use the RAVE Guardian app if they see suspicious people or activities. Take your valuables with you. I get to the office at [5:00 a.m.] most days and look around Braniff and Haggar looking for valuables I can put into our lost and found. I always find a couple of backpacks with things you don’t want to replace.”
Students should also make sure to inform as many people as possible about the current situation on campus regarding theft. No one should be leaving belongings unattended at this time.
Craig said, “Moral of the story is to get the word out. Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t leave your bags unattended for this period. Nobody wants to lose a MacBook or get put a week behind in school.”