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UWPD: Protect your belongings

December 8, 2008

The UW Police Department (UWPD) is again reminding members of the campus community to protect their valuables after a rash of recent thefts.

On Dec. 2, UWPD took calls at Vilas, Humanities and Computer Science for numerous cases of theft involving wallets and laptops. In some cases, the stolen credit cards were immediately used.

As part of the investigation, a consistent description emerged. Police are looking for a male, African American, 20-30 years of age, 6 feet tall, wearing a wool hat, dark boots, long puffy winter coat and black pants.

If you see someone suspicious loitering around your building or someone matching the description call 608-264-COPS or 911 in an emergency.

As a reminder to all leaving for the holidays and semester break, UWPD offers the following tips:

  • Secure your office and belongings when you are not present. Theft is a crime of opportunity.
  • Burglars frequently target cash, compact discs, laptops, bikes, jewelry, video games, bikes, stereos and televisions. Don’t leave attractive items out in plain sight. If possible, store them in a locked drawer, closet or interior room. Or try to take small valuables with you when you leave.
  • Draw curtains and shades and set a timer for lamps.
  • Temporarily stop mail and newspaper delivery.
  • Let a landlord, property owner or co-worker know how long you’ll be gone and how you can be reached in the event of a problem.
  • Record serial numbers for expensive items, such as VCRs and bikes. Property can be also be engraved with a driver’s license number. Engravers can be checked out at the central library branch. Victims are far more likely to recover stolen property if items are engraved.