Loose laptop thief at large

David Moreno

Courtesy of Gizmodo.uk

Courtesy of Gizmodo.uk

 A mass email was sent by Magaly Perez, the Safety and Compliance Coordinator and Interim Title IX Coordinator, at about 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 5 to inform students of laptop thefts and give them a description of the suspect.

Campus Safety and the Whittier Police Department joined forces after multiple reports of stolen laptops came from various buildings on campus. Campus Safety was able to get a physical description of a male suspect that was gathered from a surveillance camera from one of the locations where a theft took place, but no further details have been released to the student population. 

Property was reported as being stolen from the following buildings: both Johnson and Stauffer Residence Halls and the Graham Athletic Center. Since it is an ongoing investigation, Campus Safety was unable to give specific details about the case, butPerez was able to provide information about the suspect: “We believe [the suspect is] an outside person,” she said. “The individual gained access to the property through open/propped doors.”

No arrests have been made and no positive identification has been made of the suspect, except for a physical appearance that describes the suspect as a 5’9” male, along with a description of the clothes he wore that day. According to two of the victims, the suspect gained access to the room when they were unattended. Two of the victims,  first-years Stauffer residents, Lillian Ashby and Erin Dougherty, share what happened when they noticed their laptops had gone missing. 

“Erin was using her laptop, then moved on to do other work that didn’t involve using it, then she went to the bathroom and came back... and noticed it was missing,” said Ashby. “So in the span of her going to the bathroom and coming back was when someone came in and stole both of [our laptops].”

Both students are upset about losing their laptops, especially since they have crucial documents for their classes saved on them, and other personal files. “I’m definitely upset, especially because it wasn’t left out somewhere in public. It was in my room. It makes me a little uneasy that someone can easily get into our dorms,” said Dougherty.  

“We will continue to work to educate our students in the importance of security within our community,” stated Associate Director of Housing and Residential Life Joe Melendez. “We addressed this during our opening floor meetings and we have policies that address security within the community. Unfortunately, we need to look at this issue as a community issue and not as a single department issue.  When we work together to ensure our community is secure, we will be able to help prevent future incidents from reoccurring. Students will need to lock their doors, carry their student ID, carry their keys, and report any suspicious activities to appropriate college staff members.  These are just a few things we can all do to ensure this type of incident doesn’t happen again.” 

 “In addition to the timely notices/community alerts, we have increased patrol of various areas on campus and officer presence in specific buildings. We are also currently working with local law enforcement on these incidents,” said Perez. 

Students, make sure to lock all doors if you’re living on campus and never leave your belongings unattended. If you notice any suspicious activity on campus, make sure to call andreport it to Campus Safety at (562) 907-4211.