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Computers stolen from University Studies

Due to late arrival of security cables and carelessness in locking lab rooms, University Studies has lost thousands of dollars in new computers and monitors to thieves.

Daniel Ashcom, manager of student computing labs in the Office of Informational Technologies, confirmed the losses.

Ashcom valued the stolen equipment at $3,876.69. He tabulated the losses as three full systems including central processing units and monitors from Cramer Hall, Room 159, which is a lab with entrance from the regular hall. Three monitors were stolen, one each from Cramer Hall rooms 145, 154 and 245. The total therefore was three full systems and three monitors.

Room 154 has a regular hall entrance door. Rooms 145 and 245, however, are located inside the enclosed areas dedicated to University Studies. Both the first-floor area and the second-floor area have their own glass door entrances and entrance counters with staff attendants.

It was not immediately evident what exact dates the equipment was discovered missing, if it all disappeared at once or if the thefts occurred at different times.

“These machines were all put in over the winter break,” Ashcom said. “And we ordered security cables shortly thereafter.” However, because of the size of the order and custom keying, the order took several weeks to manufacture and be delivered.

“While we were waiting for the cables to show up, we tried to keep the rooms locked whenever there were not classes in session,” Ashcom said. “However, there were inevitably times when the rooms were left unattended.”

Ashcom said the cables arrived last week and are now installed on all University Studies machines.

“Hopefully, this will help keep the machines secure in the future,” he said. As far as he knows, there is no insurance of any kind. The systems simply will have to be replaced.

Ashcom said there is nothing special about any of the equipment stolen.

“They just happen to be the newest machines in our areas, which is probably why they were attractive to the thieves,” he said. Ashcom said the losses were reported to Campus Public Safety. A preliminary check of CPSO blotters did not show six such thefts.

A review of recent CPSO blotters shows that computer equipment provides an attractive target to thieves throughout the campus. Sometimes, even a locked room is not secure. On Nov. 12, a couple reported the theft of a laptop and a camera worth $500 from a study room they had locked in Branford P. Millar Library.

All types of computer equipment provide attractive targets to thieves. On Oct. 10, a Palm Pilot worth $580 disappeared from an office in Smith Memorial Student Union.

On Oct. 30, a laptop worth $800 was reported stolen from an office in Smith Memorial Student Union.

The most valuable computer recently reported stolen was a laptop, valued at $1,449.95, taken from an unattended office on the second floor of Smith Memorial Student Union.

In this case, the exact date of the theft was unknown, occurring some time between June 24 and July 21.

Another valuable loss was a laptop worth $1,297 from a third-floor office in Neuberger Hall. Although the theft may have occurred about July 1, it was not reported until Sept. 12.

Even small computer components attract thieves. On Sept. 1, a computer modem worth $50 was stolen from a locked office on the third floor of Cramer Hall. There was no sign of forced entry.