There were no reports of stolen property from residence halls upon students’ return from winter break for only the second time since 1993, said Dolores Stafford, director of the University Police Department.
“Historically there has only been one year (before this year) that we didn’t have a string of thefts in residence halls during winter break,” Stafford said.
Last year seven Aston Hall residents’ laptop computers were stolen over winter break.
UPD teamed up with the Community Living and Learning Center at the end of last semester to increase security while students were gone, Stafford said. UPD told residence hall staffs to encourage students to take their valuables home over break. The University locked all deadbolts to student rooms, Stafford said.
“I think CLLC and University Police took as many precautions as they could,” Stafford said. “I think everyone’s thoughts about security were heightened because of last year with the Aston.”
Stafford said University staff members accompanied all outside maintenance personnel who made repairs to residence halls over the break.
Many students said they were not worried about their rooms over break.
“I’ve never had a problem,” said junior Clark Rehme who lives in Francis Scott Key Hall. “I’ve always thought UPD did a decent job over break, but it does seem that they have done a better job just overall lately.”
Some students said they were concerned because leaving some valuables behind was unavoidable.
“Those of us with PCs and not laptops can’t take them home,” said freshman Wesley Reisser, who lives in HOVA. “Most students also have TVs and stereos (they cannot take with them).”
Most students said they think locking deadbolts was a good idea and may have deterred thefts. Other students had different ideas about why their belongings were safe.
“Why would they pick my room out of all of them out there?” Rehme said. “I live on the seventh floor.”