Safeguarding Personal Property
Laptops, cell phones, iPods, book bags, purses, MP3 players. These are just some of the items that are reported to the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services as being lost, misplaced or stolen. What can you do to prevent losing or having your valuables stolen? Simply remove the opportunity by following the suggestions below:
- Keep your purse, wallet, keys, handbags and other valuables with you at all times or keep them locked in a drawer; do not keep them under your desk. Lock your door if the office is left unattended, even for short periods.
- Check the identity of any strangers who are in your work area; ask whom they are visiting and if you can help them find that person. If this makes you uncomfortable, inform the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services or your supervisor about your suspicions.
- Report any suspicious persons or activities to your supervisor or the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services, extension 5444 or 5445.
Classrooms and Library
- Do not leave personal property unattended, even for a minute.
- While in class, a lab or the library, always keep personal belongings in view.
- When using restrooms, do not leave your valuables unattended.
- Try not to bring valuables with you, or minimize the amount of valuables you carry.
- Report any suspicious persons or activities to faculty, library personnel or the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services, extension 5444 or 5445.
- Secure all personal property in a locker and keep it locked when unattended. Check to ensure it is a serviceable and secure locker prior to using it.
- Avoid carrying cash or other valuables with you to the athletic facilities.
- Remember to retrieve belongings after using the athletic field, fitness center or tennis courts.
- Report any suspicious persons or activities to the faculty, athletic staff or the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services, extension 5444 or 5445.
Cell phones have fast become a favorite target of thieves. To reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a cell phone theft, the Office of Campus and Community Safety Services offers the following tips:
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Thieves may be watching you.
- Use your cell phone security lock.
- Avoid becoming distracted by your cell phone conversation when walking on the street.
- Keep your cell phone out of site. Don't hang it from your purse or jacket.
- Switch the ringer off to avoid attracting the attention of thieves.
- Never loan your cell phone to a stranger. In case of an emergency, offer to make the call for them.
- Consider using hands-free technology.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to your cell phone service provider and the police.
- Do not carry a bag that makes you a target. A bag that dangles from the shoulder can be easily yanked off by someone coming up from behind.
- Do not carry your bag in such a manner that you can't let it go if you have to. Many women have been injured because their own bags acted as handcuffs as a purse snatcher yanked it away.
- Be aware of your surroundings and carry your bag close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow.
- Minimize the amount of money and credit cards that you carry with you on a daily basis. Divide your money between pockets and bags.
- If you are the victim of a purse snatch, do not fight to hold onto your bag, especially if a weapon is involved.
Walking On and Near Campus
- Familiarize yourself with the layout of the campus. Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to see that academic buildings, walkways, facilities and parking lots are adequately secured and well-lighted.
- Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets.
- Share your class schedule with your parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.
- At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alleyways or "short cuts" through isolated areas.
- Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night.
- Use the campus escort or shuttle services at night.
- If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home, knock on the door, and request that someone call the police. Note the description of the person following you.
- Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.
- Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.
- Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
- Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it; carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.
- Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.
- Don't overload yourself with bags or packages.
- Avoid wearing shoes that restrict your movements.
- Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around.
- If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car.
Riding the subway has become safer in recent years, but you should always take precautions. Remember that when you're on the platform, the safest place to wait is behind the yellow line, away from the edge. In addition:
- Be careful not to display money in public.
- Hold on to your pocketbook when using poles and bars.
- Keep your wallet out of sight and never put your wallet in your rear pocket.
- Be sure your necklaces and other jewelry are not visible.
- Do not doze or fall asleep on the train.
- Beware of loud arguments or noisy incidents. They could be staged to distract you in order to pick your pocket.