By Molly Igoe
Recent thefts on campus have highlighted the importance of safeguarding personal items and locking doors.
An alert was sent out two weeks ago by Public Safety about a group of young men who were allegedly rattling the doorknobs in Western Shore as well as a theft in Sassafras on Oct. 28 at 11:15 p.m. and a theft in Minta Martin on Halloween at 1:36 a.m.
Jerry Roderick, director of Public Safety, said that there has been a significant uptick in thefts in dorm rooms in the past couple of weeks, noting that two expensive Louis Vouitton bags worth an estimated $1,700 to $2,400 were stolen from unlocked rooms.
Roderick said, “Along with the thefts on campus, there has also been an uptick in thefts in Chestertown. I spoke to Chestertown Chief of Police Adrian Baker, who noted that the town has also experienced an increase in thefts and burglaries where people are breaking into houses to steal valuable jewelry and money.”
Roderick also added that October is always the busiest month of the year for Public Safety in terms of violations and citations.
Public Safety has not determined who is behind the thefts, and Roderick emphasized that the thefts could be unrelated incidents. Although the witness who reported the incident outside of the Western Shore dorms identified the group as young men, there are no other details to go off of. It remains unclear if these were students or residents of Chestertown.
Currently, Public Safety is reviewing all the security cameras on campus every weekend to try and identify any suspicious activity. Roderick said, “We are concerned that people are getting comfortable coming in and out of the buildings on campus.”
Although the situation may have some students on edge, theft is preventable. Roderick said, “If you see something suspicious, report it. This includes if someone is tailgating you into your dorm building and you know they do not live there or do not recognize him or her.”
He added that locking your doors is important and to be aware of any shaking or rattling of your doorknobs, which could be a sign of someone trying to break in. Roderick said if this occurs, call Public Safety immediately.