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UWPD responds to recent thefts

March 15, 2010

The University Police Department (UWPD) reports multiple thefts of wallets, backpacks and purses occurred on March 12, primarily in the central campus area.

The items, which had been left unattended, were taken from labs and offices. In some of the cases, stolen credit cards were used to purchase items.

Since thefts and burglaries are “crimes of opportunity,” common sense can help stop criminals. Some useful safety tips include:

— Keep your possessions in sight at all times. Do not leave books or backpacks unattended anywhere — it only takes a matter of seconds for things to disappear.

— If you do leave your office or room, even for just a few minutes, lock the door. It is much easier to invest the few seconds it takes than to spend the time later filing a police report and replacing your property.                              

— Never leave a wallet or purse on top of your desk. Take it with you or lock it in a drawer.

— Be wary of people who don’t appear to belong in the area. If you doubt that they belong there, ask them questions. If their answers are vague or suspicious, call the police.

If you’re planning on leaving town for the upcoming spring break, remember the following:

— Thieves frequently target iPods, video-game consoles, laptops, bikes, jewelry, video games, bikes, stereos and televisions. Take small valuables with you when you leave.

— Draw curtains and shades, and set a timer for lamps.

— Temporarily stop mail and newspaper delivery.

— Record serial numbers for expensive items, such as DVD players 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.

If you have security questions, call UWPD, 264-COPS or visit or

If you have any information about the recent thefts, call Crime Stoppers at 266-6014.