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WSSU crime logs shows trend in theft on campus

By Sheridan Watkins, contributer
On October 6, 2014

Students — please keep your belongings safe and your doors locked.

In September the Winston-Salem State campus police crime logs recorded that one to two crime reports were filed every day.

Larceny was at the top of the list.

Nine larcenies in various locations on campus were reported in September and six in early October.

Lt. H.C. Gray Jr., investigator and crime prevention officer, said many of the reports involve lost or stolen cellphones, parking decals, or other personal items.

"We have not had any major ones where someone has broken into a residence hall," Gray said.

Gray said students can prevent these occurrences by always locking their doors and never leaving their belongings behind.

"But we are trying to put information out [to WSSU students] like we did at the beginning of RAMdition [freshman orientation week]."

The crimes have occurred at various times of the day which means there is no way to know when one may become a victim, he said.

Six of the nine reports are still pending, and the other three are closed. An arrest was made in one.

There have been no convictions in the larceny cases.

"Phones [stolen] are tricky because we have to

know the serial number to track the phone and to be able to close the case," Gray said.

Even if a phone has a tracker application, it may be hard to find the precise location because the app may only give the radius of the phone’s location up to a mile.

A serial numbers makes it easier for police to find a cell phone because it is more specific.

The cell phone will be on alert once its serial number is in the police system. If someone tries to activate or pawn it, they will be unsuccessful and police will be notified, Gray said.

"Sometimes the cases have already been handled [with Student Conduct] and it is just not closed out [on the police system] by our officers," Gray said.

Officers would rather send a student to Student Conduct before sending them to the Winston-Salem Police Department.

Campus police have placed cameras in certain locations.

If a student reports a crime and remembers what time it occurred, police can recover the footage.

Gray said students make it easy for a criminal by leaving their personal property behind and being too "trusting."

He said students should leave their possessions with people that are reliable or keep it on their person at all times.

"Safety starts with the individual. We have to lock our doors and ensure our stuff is secure. If we do not treat things like they are precious, nobody else will," Gray sai

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