By Cassy Sottile
The recent string of thefts at Washington College may have come to an end.
Earlier this semster, several thefts occured in the John S. Toll Scinece Center, Dunning Decker, and Miller Library within a short time span.
The perpetrator of the thefts may have been apprehended, according to Director of Public Safety Brandon McFayden.
“We believe it was one individual responsible for the thefts. The same individual was responsible for committing thefts and burglaries in and around the Chestertown area,” McFayden said.
According to McFayden, the Chestertown Police Department was able to get enough evidence to charge and arrest the suspect for several of the crimes he committed in Chestertown. There have not been any further thefts of that nature since the suspect has been in custody.
“One suspect who decides to make the college campus his target can do a lot of damage. We had a similar situation last year when a different suspect was repeatedly stealing things from the Gibson Center of the Arts,” McFayden said.
According to McFayden, the suspect was eventually captured on surveillance video, and Public Safety was able to place charges against him for some of the crimes he committed on campus.
“Just like this time, once he was arrested, the thefts stopped. Criminals will consistently look for easy targets and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure they are not an easy target,” McFayden said.
With winter break coming up, McFayden wants to remind students of safety tips to protect their rooms over the extended break.
“I would just remind everyone of the crime prevention tips we sent out in an email earlier this semester. In all of the recent cases, the items that were stolen were left unattended by the owners,” McFayden said.
In the email sent on Oct. 26, some tips include never leaving personal property unattended, securing valuable items, locking offices when no one is occupying them, keeping track of keys and swipe cards by not handing them to unauthorized persons, keeping valuables out of plain view in locked cars, never leaving laptops unattended, and locking classroom and lab doors when the rooms are not being used.
“There seems to always be another criminal waiting around the corner to take the place of one that was just arrested. That’s why it is important for everyone to practice crime prevention and safeguard their personal property,” McFayden said.