Theft is the most common on-campus crime. While crimes against persons are rare, the frequency of property crime is more obvious. Most crimes of this nature are "opportunity crimes," often describable as the theft of expensive, unattended and/or unsecured personal property. The UPD recognizes the community feels safe and secure, especially within campus facilities. However, there will always be individuals who will fail when tempted by a ripe opportunity to take something pricey that can be turned into cash or used for themselves.
Contemporary students enjoy the benefits of various electronic devices (e.g., laptops, smart/cell phones, PDAs, digital music players, etc.). Most students find themselves investing in expensive textbooks each quarter. Others choose bicycles as an efficient, green alternative to motored vehicles. These items are often the target of "crimes of opportunity." In almost all cases of theft, these items were left unattended and/or unsecured (or poorly secured) by the owner. To safeguard your property:
- Don't leave items unattended - take them with you, if you must step away from where you are working
- Don't leave items unsecured - use available lockers or quality locking devices when items must be left unattended
- Keep personal records of all technology items, including a full description, serial number, and also a picture
- In textbooks, UPD recommends writing some identifying information on a specific page of the volume. For example, a student may write "LUE" in the margin on Page 42 of all their textbooks. For other items, engraving may be an option.
As a courtesy-service, the UPD maintains a personal property registration database (like bicycle licensing). To learn more about this service or register your property, visit the Property Registration page
Fraud is on the increase, and students are falling victim. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, you should do the following:
- Get a copy of your own credit report every six months and check it carefully
- Never give your credit card number to someone who calls you or solicits it on the Internet
- Rip up or shred your old checks and bills before disposing them
- Don't use your SSN for anything other than employment
- Guard the Personal Identification Number (PIN) you use on your various credit cards. Don't write them down.
- Any email you receive that sounds like a great deal, isn't.
- If you sell anything online and you are paid by a cashier's check, cash it and wait at least 10 days for it to clear the bank before sending the item. Anyone who sends you too much money, then asks you to send back or forward the balance elsewhere is trying to rip you off. Their story is a lie.